Signs Your Home Has Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Repair It

May 22, 2020

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

Decreased indoor air quality can have an adverse influence on your well-being. That’s why it’s essential to know the symptoms of poor air quality in your house, what causes it and how to take care of it.

If you want to know how you can tell if your New Castle home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort pros at Central Heating & Plumbing can help. We’ll review the troubles you’re experiencing and offer suggestions to make your house’s air cleaner.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you picture pollution, you typically think of smog. But common items in your house can cause pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These starting points include:

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

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by a lack of ventilation in your house, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Modern houses are firmly sealed for energy savings, which is good for your utility expenses but not so great when you need more fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you could have symptoms right away or later. Your symptoms could lessen when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.

Some of the most common immediate symptoms include:

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

If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be worse.

Continuous or lengthy exposure may cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

Your residence will also indicate that its air isn’t as healthy as it needs to be.

  1. Your home is very dusty, especially close to the vents. It’s normal for your house to get dusty during the week, but accumulation near your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, very much so if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help cut down on dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your residence has hot and cold spots. Your heating and cooling system may be struggling to maintain correct temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution issues as a result of your HVAC unit or ductwork. Our Central Heating & Plumbing specialists can locate the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air appears too dry or too wet. We advise maintaining your house’s humidity levels between 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat might feel scratchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your home is too humid during the summer, you may have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your well-being. You can combat these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your home comfort equipment to give balanced humidity across your residence.
  4. Your home has lingering odors. You could detect a stale smell when you come home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not feasible to have your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling fresh again. It exchanges musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other approaches the EPA advises taking include keeping your residence smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your home comfort unit. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and might even help them last for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

If you think your house has an air quality problem, give our Central Heating & Plumbing HVAC specialists a call at 724-401-1843 or contact us online. We’re here to discuss possibilities and offer a free estimate.