Signs Your Residence Has Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

May 22, 2020

We are indoors a lot. In fact, the EPA has calculated the majority of people spend 90% of their time within a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.

Poor indoor air quality can have an adverse impact on your health. That’s why it’s essential to be able to spot the warnings of bad air quality in your house, what leads to it and how to take care of it.

If you want to know how you can tell if your Manassas home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling experts at Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. can assist you. We’ll review the issues you’re having and give strategies to make your house’s air fresher.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you think of pollution, you usually think of smog. But ordinary products inside your residence can produce pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These origins consist of:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that runs on gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC units
  • New flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Man-made building materials, including furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by a lack of ventilation in your home, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Modern residences are firmly sealed for energy efficiency, which is good for your utility bill but not so fantastic when you have to have more fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you might experience symptoms immediately or later on. Your symptoms can alleviate when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate issues include:

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

If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be heightened.

Repeated or prolonged exposure could result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better

Your home will also indicate that its air isn’t as clean as it could be.

  1. Your home is extremely dusty, particularly by the vents. It’s normal for your home to get dusty during the week, but a lot of dust near your air registers should be troubling. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, very much so if you have allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help cut down on dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold spots. Your home comfort unit may be having difficulty maintaining correct temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution troubles as a result of your heating and cooling system or ductwork. Our Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. specialists can find the trouble and advise repairs or replacement.
  3. Your residence’s air feels too dry or too wet. We recommend keeping your residence’s humidity levels near 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat could feel itchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your home is too humid during hot temperatures, you may have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your wellness. You can take care of these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your home comfort system to give balanced humidity around your house.
  4. Your residence has odors that stick around. You may detect a stuffy odor when you arrive. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not possible to open your windows all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling good again. It substitutes stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA advises taking include keeping your home smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your heating and cooling unit. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and might even help them work longer.

We Can Help Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has an air quality issue, give our Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. HVAC professionals a call at 703-260-1148 or contact us online. We’re available to discuss possibilities and offer a free estimate.