Signs Your Home Has Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Restore It

May 22, 2020

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

Bad indoor air quality can have an unfavorable impact on your wellness. That’s why it’s critical to be able to spot the signs of poor air quality in your residence, what triggers it and how to fix it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Jefferson City home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC professionals at Stieferman Heating Company Inc can provide assistance. We’ll go through the problems you’re running into and give ideas to make your residence’s air better.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you think of pollution, you typically think of smog. But everyday things inside your residence can produce pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.

These sources consist of:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Too much moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • New flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, including furniture made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by a lack of ventilation in your residence, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Today’s homes are firmly sealed for energy savings, which is good for your utility expenses but not so great when you require additional fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you could have symptoms now or later. Your symptoms may go away when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.

Some of the most common immediate problems involve:

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

If someone in your household deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be worse.

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

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

Your residence will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as healthy as it should be.

  1. Your house is excessively dusty, notably close to the vents. It’s expected for your house to get dusty over the week, but accumulation near your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, very much so if you deal with allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your home has hot and cold areas. Your home comfort system might be struggling to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution troubles due to your HVAC system or ductwork. Our Stieferman Heating Company Inc professionals can find the issue and advise repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend keeping your house’s humidity levels around 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat could feel itchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your residence is too humid during warm weather, you could have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your health. You can manage these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your HVAC system to provide even humidity throughout your home.
  4. Your home has lingering odors. You could notice a musty scent when you arrive. Or a cooking smell that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not possible to open your windows all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling fresh again. It exchanges musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA advises doing include keeping your house smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your heating and cooling system. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and may even help them last longer.

We Can Help Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you think your residence has an air quality issue, give our Stieferman Heating Company Inc HVAC specialists a call at 573-635-3547 or contact us online. We’re ready to talk with you about options and give you a free estimate.