We are indoors a lot. In fact, the EPA has determined the majority of people spend 90% of their lives indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times worse than outside.
Decreased indoor air quality can have a negative effect on your well-being. That’s why it’s essential to know the symptoms of bad air quality in your residence, what causes it and how to fix it.
If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Columbia home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling professionals at Watts Electric & A/C Inc can help. We’ll go over the issues you’re having and provide ideas to make your house’s air fresher.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you picture pollution, you typically think of smog. But ordinary things within your residence can produce pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.
These sources involve:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
- Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that runs on gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Too much moisture
- HVAC equipment
- New flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Synthetic building materials, such as furniture manufactured from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by insufficient ventilation in your home, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Recently built residences are securely sealed for energy savings, which is a plus for your energy bill but not so fantastic when you have to have more fresh air inside.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you could have symptoms now or in the future. Your symptoms can lessen when you leave your residence but get worse when you return.
Some of the most usual immediate issues deal with:
- Dry eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be heightened.
Repeated or lengthy exposure may cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Indications of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better
Your house will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as clean as it should be.
- Your residence is extremely dusty, notably by the vents. It’s expected for your home to get dusty during the week, but accumulation near your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, very much so if you deal with allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other annoying pollutants.
- Your residence has hot and cold rooms. Your home comfort equipment could be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity percentages. Or there could be air distribution issues due to your HVAC equipment or ductwork. Our Watts Electric & A/C Inc pros can diagnose the trouble and suggest repairs or replacement.
- Your residence’s air feels too dry or too wet. We recommend maintaining your home’s humidity percentage around 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat could feel itchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your house is too humid during hot temperatures, you could have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your health. You can take care of these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your heating and cooling unit to provide even humidity around your home.
- Your home has lingering odors. You might catch a stuffy smell when you come home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not practical to have your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling good again. It substitutes stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other approaches the EPA recommends implementing include keeping your house smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your home comfort system. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and might even help them last for a greater amount of time.
We Can Help Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
If you believe your residence has air quality trouble, give our Watts Electric & A/C Inc HVAC pros a call at 601-736-7362 or contact us online. We’re here to chat with you about options and provide a free estimate.