Signs Your House Has Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Repair It

May 22, 2020

We are often indoors. In fact, the EPA has calculated most people spend 90% of their lives inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.

Decreased indoor air quality can have an adverse effect on your health. That’s why it’s important to be able to spot the warnings of bad air quality in your home, what triggers it and how to repair it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your McMurray home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort pros at Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can provide assistance. We’ll go through the troubles you’re having and offer plans to make your home’s air cleaner.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you picture pollution, you generally think of smog. But ordinary products inside your home can lead to pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.

These sources consist of:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
  • Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Too much moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • New flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, like furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by insufficient ventilation in your home, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Recently built residences are firmly sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your heating and cooling expenses but not so good when you need extra fresh air in your home.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you could experience symptoms now or in the future. Your symptoms can lessen when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.

Some of the most usual immediate problems involve:

  • Dry eyes, nose or throat
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

If someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be heightened.

Repeated or prolonged exposure can lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Symptoms of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

Your residence will also indicate that its air isn’t as healthy as it needs to be.

  1. Your house is excessively dusty, especially around the vents. It’s normal for your home to get dusty in a week’s time, but a lot of dust close to your air registers should be concerning. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, very much so if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold areas. Your HVAC equipment may be failing to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity percentages. Or there might be air distribution problems because of your home comfort system or ductwork. Our Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing specialists can locate the issue and suggest repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend maintaining your residence’s humidity percentage near 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat can feel itchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your residence is too humid during the summer, you may have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your wellness. You can combat these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your HVAC unit to deliver even humidity throughout your residence.
  4. Your house has odors that won’t go away. You could catch a musty scent when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t go away. Since it’s not possible to open your windows 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling pleasant again. It exchanges stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA advises doing include keeping your home smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your heating and cooling system. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and could even help them run for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your house has air quality trouble, give our Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing HVAC specialists a call at 724-370-0141 or contact us online. We’re available to chat with you about options and give you a free estimate.