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

May 22, 2020

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

Decreased indoor air quality can have a negative influence on your well-being. That’s why it’s critical to identify the symptoms of bad air quality in your home, what causes it and how to fix it.

If you want to know how you can tell if your Hodgenville home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling professionals at Phelps Heating & Cooling can provide assistance. We’ll review the problems you’re running into and give suggestions to make your home’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you think of pollution, you generally think of smog. But everyday products in your house can make pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These origins involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • New flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, including furniture manufactured from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by not enough ventilation in your house, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Today’s homes are firmly sealed for energy savings, which is good for your energy expenses but not so good when you have to have more fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you could develop symptoms now or later. Your symptoms may alleviate when you leave your residence but come back when you return.

Some of the most common immediate symptoms deal with:

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

If someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be more severe.

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

Other Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better

Your home will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as healthy as it should be.

  1. Your house is very dusty, notably close to the vents. It’s common for your house to get dusty during the week, but accumulation by 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 have allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your home has hot and cold spots. Your home comfort unit could be struggling to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there might be air distribution problems due to your heating and cooling equipment or ductwork. Our Phelps Heating & Cooling professionals can pinpoint the problem and advise repairs or replacement.
  3. Your residence’s air feels too dry or too wet. We suggest maintaining your home’s humidity percentage between 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your home isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat may feel scratchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your house is too humid during hot temperatures, you may have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your well-being. You can fight these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your home comfort system to provide balanced humidity across your residence.
  4. Your residence has lingering odors. You could detect a stuffy odor when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not practical to keep your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling pleasant again. It exchanges stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other steps the EPA recommends implementing include keeping your residence smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your home comfort system. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and might even help them work longer.

We Can Help Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has an air quality problem, give our Phelps Heating & Cooling HVAC experts a call at 270-358-3167 or contact us online. We’re here to discuss options and offer a free estimate.