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

May 22, 2020

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

Poor indoor air quality can have a negative influence on your wellness. That’s why it’s essential to be able to spot the warnings of poor air quality in your house, what causes it and how to repair it.

If you want to know how you can tell if your Newton home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC experts at Brookwood Inc can help. We’ll go through the problems you’re having and give suggestions to make your residence’s air better.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you typically think of smog. But common things within your house can make pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These starting points involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that runs on gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, including furniture made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by a lack of ventilation in your house, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Modern residences are firmly sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your energy expenses but not so fantastic when you have to have more fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you might have symptoms right away or later on. Your symptoms could go away when you leave your house but get worse when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate problems include:

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

If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be more severe.

Constant or long-term exposure may lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Signs of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It

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

  1. Your residence is very dusty, notably by the vents. It’s normal for your house to get dusty in a week’s time, but accumulation close to your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, particularly if you have allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other aggravating pollutants.
  2. Your residence has hot and cold areas. Your home comfort system might be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity amounts. Or there may be air distribution problems because of your HVAC system or ductwork. Our Brookwood Inc specialists can locate the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air seems too dry or too wet. We recommend maintaining your residence’s humidity range near 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat could feel dry. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your home is too humid during the summer, you could have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your well-being. You can fight these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your heating and cooling equipment to give balanced humidity around your house.
  4. Your home has lingering odors. You could detect a musty odor when you come home. Or a cooking scent that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not practical to have your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling fresh again. It substitutes stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other approaches the EPA suggests taking include keeping your house smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your heating and cooling system. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and can even help them work for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your residence has an air quality problem, give our Brookwood Inc HVAC pros a call at 641-316-9803 or contact us online. We’re here to discuss options and give you a free estimate.