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How Can I Tell if My Homes Air Quality is Bad?

April 27, 2020

If you’re unsure whether your Plainfield home has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it probably does.

We spend much of our time indoors. In fact, we’re indoors up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside houses can be 2–5 times more polluted than outdoors, which may create long-term health issues.

Most Common Sources of Poor IAQ

We’ve made a list of the most common sources of bad IAQ, the troubles they cause and how you can take care of these indoor air pollutants. If you’re worried about the air inside your house, we recommend consulting with a expert like PWA Heating & Cooling Inc about which products are ideal for your family.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are vapors emitted from everyday household items.

They’re found in paint and stains as well as:

  • Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Building materials
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetics
  • Air fresheners
  • Candles

When these fumes collect indoors, they can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They might also cause headaches and nausea. Regardless of whether your residence is in a rural or industrial area, an EPA study found indoor levels of these pollutants can be 2–5 times worse than the air outside.

Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when using paint or cleaning supplies. Unlatching a window can help fumes disperse more rapidly.

Air purification systems can also help. This system partners with your heating and cooling unit to improve indoor air. When looking for a system, check that it’s specifically designed to eliminate VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can irritate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continually gets recirculated by your house’s comfort system. While you can vacuum more routinely and get an improved air filter, an air filtration system might be a better solution.

This equipment works with your heating and cooling equipment to provide mighty filtration. Some types provide hospital-grade filtration for eliminating particles and bioaerosols.

Lingering Odors

Modern homes are securely sealed to increase energy efficiency. While this is fantastic for your heating and cooling expenses, it’s not very good for your IAQ.

Stale odors can stay around longer as your home is pulling in less fresh air. As keeping your windows open all year round isn’t a possibility, here are two methods you can make your indoor air smell cleaner.

An air purification system is installed in your ductwork to wipe out odors before they recirculate. Find one with a carbon filter and the ability to eliminate dangerous VOCs. This equipment can also help keep your loved ones healthy by eliminating most bacteria and normal allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system takes out musty indoor air and exchanges it with crisp outdoor air. There are two types of systems (heat recovery and energy recovery), so check with our professionals for more info on which solution is best for your house.

Unbalanced Humidity

It’s essential your house’s humidity stays balanced. Air that’s too moist can create mold, while dry air can cause respiratory troubles.

Our techs advise 40–50% for top comfort. To keep yours in balance, think about getting a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your comfort unit.

In place of having to drag a humidifier from room to room, this solution provides even humidity around your residence.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is gas you can’t see or smell. It occurs when there’s unfinished combustion in fuel-burning units, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.

It poses a severe health risk. In small concentrations, it can cause flu-like ailments like headaches and nausea. It can be deadly in heavy amounts.

We suggest yearly furnace maintenance to ensure your system is operating smoothly. This service allows our techs to spot problems before they start, including malfunctions that can cause carbon monoxide leaks.

The best way to keep your residence free of carbon monoxide is to install detectors. These alarms need to be on all floors near bedrooms and living spaces.

Enhance Your Home’s Air Quality with the PWA Heating & Cooling Inc Experts

Know that your house has inferior air quality but not sure how to make it better? Or unsure which solution is ideal for you? Give our kind HVAC specialists a call at 815-410-1231 or contact us online right away. With free estimates and expert support, we’ll help you choose the best equipment for your needs and budget.