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

May 22, 2020

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

Decreased indoor air quality can have a negative impact on your wellness. That’s why it’s essential to know the warnings of poor air quality in your residence, what leads to it and how to repair it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Rapid City home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling experts at Street Heating and Cooling can assist you. We’ll review the problems you’re running into and give ideas to make your residence’s air fresher.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

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

These origins include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that runs on gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Too much moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, like furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by insufficient ventilation in your house, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Modern houses are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, which is good for your energy expenses but not so good when you have to have extra fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you could experience symptoms immediately or later. Your symptoms can alleviate when you leave your residence but get worse when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate problems involve:

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

If someone in your household deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be worse.

Repeated or extended exposure can result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Symptoms of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

Your house will also signal that its air isn’t as clean as it should be.

  1. Your home is extremely dusty, notably near the vents. It’s expected for your home to get dusty in a week’s time, but buildup by your air registers should be concerning. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, especially if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold areas. Your HVAC unit could be struggling to maintain proper temperature and humidity amounts. Or there might be air distribution troubles because of your heating and cooling unit or ductwork. Our Street Heating and Cooling professionals can find the problem and advise repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air seems too dry or too wet. We advise keeping your residence’s humidity percentage around 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your home isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat can feel scratchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your residence is too humid during warm weather, you might have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your health. You can take care of these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your heating and cooling unit to provide even humidity around your home.
  4. Your home has odors that won’t go away. You could catch a stuffy odor when you arrive. Or a cooking smell that just won’t go away. Since it’s not feasible to have your windows open all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling fresh again. It substitutes stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA suggests taking include keeping your home smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your heating and cooling unit. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and may even help them work for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Boost Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your house has air quality trouble, give our Street Heating and Cooling HVAC professionals a call at 605-206-3915 or contact us online. We’re ready to discuss options and give you a free estimate.