Signs Your House Has Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Repair It

May 22, 2020

We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined most people spend 90% of their day inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times worse than outside.

Poor indoor air quality can have an unfavorable influence on your wellness. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of poor air quality in your residence, what causes it and how to repair it.

If you want to know how you can tell if your Odessa home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling experts at Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning can assist you. We’ll go through the issues you’re running into and give suggestions to make your home’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you usually think of smog. But common items within your residence can lead to pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These origins consist of:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC units
  • Recently installed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, including furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be worsened by a lack of ventilation in your residence, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Today’s houses are securely sealed for energy conservation, which is good for your utility expenses but not so good when you need extra fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you could have symptoms now or later. Your symptoms may go away when you leave home but worsen when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate symptoms involve:

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

If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be heightened.

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

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

Your residence will also indicate that its air isn’t as fresh as it needs to be.

  1. Your residence is very dusty, particularly around the vents. It’s common for your home to get dusty in a week’s time, but a lot of dust close to your air registers should be troubling. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, especially if you have allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold spots. Your home comfort unit could be struggling to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity amounts. Or there might be air distribution troubles due to your home comfort system or ductwork. Our Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning pros can find the issue and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We suggest maintaining your residence’s humidity levels between 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat might feel itchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your home is too humid during the summer, you might have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your wellness. You can take care of these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your home comfort unit to deliver balanced humidity around your home.
  4. Your residence has lingering odors. You might notice a stuffy odor when you get home. Or a cooking scent that just won’t go away. Since it’s not practical to have your windows open 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling pleasant again. It exchanges stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other approaches the EPA suggests doing include keeping your residence smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your home comfort unit. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and may even help them last for an extended period of time.

We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has an air quality issue, give our Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning HVAC experts a call at 432-237-0168 or contact us online. We’re available to chat with you about options and offer a free estimate.