Signs Your Residence Has Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

May 22, 2020

We are often indoors. In fact, the EPA has calculated many people spend 90% of their day within a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.

Bad indoor air quality can have an adverse impact on your well-being. That’s why it’s essential to be able to spot the warnings of bad air quality in your residence, what triggers it and how to fix it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Pella home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort professionals at Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating can provide assistance. We’ll go over the issues you’re experiencing and offer strategies to make your house’s air cleaner.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you typically think of smog. But everyday items inside your residence can cause pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These starting points consist of:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
  • Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, such as furniture manufactured from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by a lack of ventilation in your house, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Recently built residences are securely sealed for energy savings, which is great for your utility expenses but not so great when you need extra fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you may develop symptoms immediately or later. Your symptoms can go away when you leave your house but worsen when you return.

Some of the most common immediate problems involve:

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

If someone in your home has allergies or asthma, their symptoms might 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 Make It Better

Your house will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as fresh as it needs to be.

  1. Your house is very dusty, especially around the vents. It’s common for your home to get dusty during the week, but a lot of dust near your air registers should be concerning. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, particularly if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold areas. Your home comfort equipment could be having difficulty maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there may be air distribution issues because of your HVAC system or ductwork. Our Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating specialists can locate the problem and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air feels too dry or too wet. We suggest keeping your home’s humidity percentage between 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat can feel itchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your house is too humid during warm weather, you could have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your health. You can fight these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your home comfort equipment to give appropriate humidity throughout your residence.
  4. Your residence has odors that stick around. You might notice a musty scent when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not feasible to open your windows 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling fresh again. It replaces musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other approaches the EPA suggests implementing include keeping your house smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your heating and cooling unit. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and might even help them work for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you think your home has air quality trouble, give our Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating HVAC specialists a call at 641-628-3621 or contact us online. We’re ready to talk with you about solutions and offer a free estimate.