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

April 27, 2020
metal appliance separating two fixed bodies

If you’re unsure whether your Franklin & South Indy home has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it possibly does.

We spend much of our time indoors. In fact, we’re in a building up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside residences may be 2–5 times more polluted than outdoors, which might lead to long-term health concerns.

Most Common Causes of Poor IAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most common sources of inferior IAQ, the problems they create and how you can take care of these indoor air pollutants. If you’re troubled by the air inside your residence, we suggest talking with a expert like Winters Heating and Cooling about which solutions are best for your family.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are vapors emitted from everyday household products

They’re found in paint and stains along with:

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

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

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using paint or cleaning supplies. Unlatching a window can help chemicals disappear more rapidly.

Air purification systems can also make it better. This equipment works with your heating and cooling unit to enhance indoor air. When seeking one, check that it’s specifically made to eradicate VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can irritate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it constantly gets recirculated by your residence’s heating and cooling system. While you can vacuum more frequently and get an enhanced air filter, an air filtration system might be a better solution.

This equipment works with your comfort unit to provide strong filtration. Some types have hospital-grade filtration for eliminating particles and bioaerosols.

Lingering Odors

Modern residences are securely sealed to enhance energy efficiency. While this is good for your utility expenses, it’s not so good for your IAQ.

Stuffy odors can stay around longer as your residence is pulling in a smaller amount of fresh air. Because keeping your windows open all year round isn’t an option, here are two methods you can make your indoor air smell cleaner.

An air purification system is placed in your ductwork to eliminate odors before they are redistributed. Look for one with a carbon filter and the power to break down damaging VOCs. These systems can also help keep your household healthy by wiping out most bacteria and normal allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system pulls out stuffy indoor air and substitutes it with clean outdoor air. There are two models of systems (heat recovery and energy recovery), so check with our techs for more details on which type is best for your home.

Unsteady Humidity

It’s essential your residence’s humidity remains steady. Air that’s too humid can cause mold, while dry air can cause respiratory issues.

Our pros suggest 40–50% for ideal comfort. To keep yours steady, think over getting a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your heating and cooling equipment.

Rather than having to pull a humidifier from room to room, this product delivers consistent humidity across your residence.

Carbon Monoxide

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

It creates an extreme health risk. In small concentrations, it can lead to flu-like symptoms like headaches and nausea. It may be deadly in heavy amounts.

We recommend regular furnace maintenance to double-check your equipment is running properly. This work allows our pros to pinpoint issues before they get bigger, including malfunctions that can cause carbon monoxide leaks.

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

Enhance Your House’s Air Quality with the Winters Heating and Cooling Specialists

Aware that your residence has poor air quality but not sure how to improve it? Or unsure which option is right for you? Give our kind HVAC specialists a call at 317-406-5382 or contact us online now. With free estimates and professional assistance, we’ll help you locate the ideal option for your needs and budget.