We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined many people spend 90% of their day within a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.
Bad indoor air quality can have an adverse effect on your wellness. That’s why it’s critical to be able to spot the signs of bad air quality in your residence, what causes it and how to fix it.
If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Plainfield home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort pros at PWA Heating & Cooling Inc can assist you. We’ll go through the issues you’re experiencing and provide suggestions to make your home’s air cleaner.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you picture pollution, you generally think of smog. But everyday things inside your residence can lead to pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.
These starting points consist of:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
- Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that runs on gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excess moisture
- HVAC units
- Recently installed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Man-made building materials, such as furniture manufactured from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by insufficient ventilation in your house, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Modern residences are firmly sealed for energy conservation, which is great for your energy costs but not so great when you need more fresh air inside.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you may experience symptoms immediately or in the future. Your symptoms can go away when you leave your house but get worse when you return.
Some of the most common immediate symptoms involve:
- Irritated eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be more severe.
Constant or prolonged exposure could cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It
Your house will also signal that its air isn’t as fresh as it should be.
- Your house is extremely dusty, notably close to the vents. It’s common for your residence to get dusty during the week, but accumulation by your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other things 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 reduce dust and other irritating pollutants.
- Your home has hot and cold areas. Your heating and cooling equipment could be failing to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity levels. Or there might be air distribution issues as a result of your HVAC equipment or ductwork. Our PWA Heating & Cooling Inc professionals can pinpoint the trouble and suggest repairs or replacement.
- Your residence’s air seems too dry or too wet. We suggest keeping your home’s humidity levels around 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your home isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat might feel scratchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your home is too humid during hot temperatures, you might have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your health. You can take care of these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your heating and cooling equipment to deliver balanced humidity across your residence.
- Your home has odors that won’t go away. You could notice a musty scent when you arrive. Or a cooking scent that just won’t go away. 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 musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other steps the EPA suggests implementing include keeping your house smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your heating and cooling equipment. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and can even help them last for an extended period of time.
We Can Help Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
If you think your house has an air quality problem, give our PWA Heating & Cooling Inc HVAC professionals a call at 815-410-1231 or contact us online. We’re ready to chat with you about solutions and give you a free estimate.