Signs Your Home Has Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Restore It

May 22, 2020

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

Decreased indoor air quality can have an unfavorable effect on your wellness. That’s why it’s essential 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 Franklin home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort experts at Winters Heating and Cooling can provide assistance. We’ll review the troubles you’re running into and offer strategies to make your home’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you think of pollution, you generally think of smog. But everyday items in your home can produce pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These origins consist of:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • 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 residence, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Modern homes are tightly sealed for energy conservation, which is a plus for your utility expenses but not so great when you require extra fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you may develop symptoms right away or in the future. Your symptoms could go away when you leave your residence but get worse when you return.

Some of the most common immediate symptoms involve:

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

If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be heightened.

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

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

Your residence will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as clean as it could be.

  1. Your house is excessively dusty, especially near the vents. It’s expected for your house to get dusty over the week, but a lot of dust by your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, particularly if you have allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help cut down on dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your home has hot and cold areas. Your home comfort system may be struggling to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution issues because of your home comfort unit or ductwork. Our Winters Heating and Cooling specialists can find the issue and advise repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend having your house’s humidity range near 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat may feel scratchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your home is too humid during hot temperatures, you could have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your wellness. You can combat these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your HVAC unit to give even humidity throughout your home.
  4. Your house has lingering odors. You may detect a stuffy scent when you get home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t go away. Since it’s not practical to keep your windows open 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling good again. It exchanges stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other approaches the EPA advises taking include keeping your home smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your HVAC equipment. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and can even help them work for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you think your residence has an air quality issue, give our Winters Heating and Cooling HVAC experts a call at 317-406-5783 or contact us online. We’re here to talk with you about possibilities and offer a free estimate.