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

April 27, 2020

If you’re uncertain whether your Odessa home has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it possibly does.

We spend much of our time indoors. In reality, we’re inside up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside homes may be 2–5 times more contaminated than outdoors, which can result in long-term health problems.

Most Common Sources of Bad IAQ

We’ve made a list of the most common origins of inferior IAQ, the issues they create and how you can fix these indoor air pollutants. If you’re troubled by the air inside your house, we recommend consulting with a pro like Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning about which options are best for your family.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are vapors released by common household products.

They’re found in paint and stains in addition to:

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

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

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when painting or cleaning. Opening a window can help chemicals disappear more quickly.

Air purification systems can also better your air. This unit collaborates with your heating and cooling unit to enhance indoor air. When seeking one, ensure it’s specifically designed to eradicate VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can irritate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continually gets moved by your home’s HVAC equipment. While you can vacuum more regularly and get a better air filter, an air filtration system may be a better fit.

This equipment connects with your HVAC system to deliver powerful filtration. Some types offer hospital-level filtration for getting rid of particles and bioaerosols.

Lingering Odors

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

Musty odors can stick around longer as your home is pulling in less fresh air. Since keeping your windows open all the time isn’t a possibility, here are two approaches you can make your indoor air smell fresher.

An air purification system is placed in your ductwork to neutralize odors before they are redistributed. Look for one with a carbon filter and the power to wipe out dangerous VOCs. These units can also help keep your family healthy by getting rid of most bacteria and ordinary allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system takes out stale indoor air and replaces it with clean outdoor air. There are two models of units (heat recovery and energy recovery), so ask our technicians for more information on which type is best for your residence.

Unbalanced Humidity

It’s important your residence’s humidity keeps balanced. Air that’s too humid can create mold, while dry air can lead to respiratory troubles.

Our professionals recommend 40–50% for ideal comfort. To keep yours even, consider buying a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your heating and cooling system.

Rather than having to pull a humidifier from room to room, this equipment gives even humidity throughout your residence.

Carbon Monoxide

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

It poses a serious health risk. In small amounts, it can cause flu-like sickness like headaches and nausea. It may be lethal in large concentrations.

We advise regular furnace maintenance to ensure your system is working properly. This job allows our technicians to spot problems before they get bigger, including malfunctions that can create carbon monoxide leaks.

The best approach to keep your residence free of carbon monoxide is to install detectors. These alarms must be on each floor by bedrooms and living rooms.

Better Your House’s Air Quality with the Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning Pros

Aware that your house has bad air quality but not sure how to improve it? Or unsure which option is a good fit for you? Give our approachable HVAC pros a call at 432-237-0168 or contact us online now. With free estimates and expert support, we’ll help you choose the right equipment for your family and budget.