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

May 22, 2020

We are often indoors. 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 more polluted than outside.

Decreased indoor air quality can have a negative effect on your health. That’s why it’s critical to identify the signs of inferior air quality in your residence, what leads to it and how to fix it.

If you want to know how you can tell if your the Bay Area home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort pros at Contra Costa Heating & AC can provide assistance. We’ll go through the troubles you’re experiencing and offer ideas to make your home’s air better.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

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

These sources involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • Recently installed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, including furniture manufactured from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by a lack of ventilation in your residence, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Modern houses are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, which is a plus for your energy bill but not so great when you need more fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you might experience symptoms right away or in the future. Your symptoms can go away when you leave your house but get worse when you return.

Some of the most usual immediate symptoms deal with:

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

If someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be heightened.

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

Other Indications of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better

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

  1. Your residence is extremely dusty, especially by the vents. It’s normal for your home to get dusty during the week, but a lot of dust close to your air registers should be troubling. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, especially if you have allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your residence has hot and cold spots. Your heating and cooling equipment may be failing to maintain correct temperature and humidity levels. Or there might be air distribution issues because of your heating and cooling system or ductwork. Our Contra Costa Heating & AC pros can diagnose the trouble and suggest repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air seems too dry or too wet. We recommend keeping your house’s humidity range around 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat may feel itchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your home is too humid during the summer, you may have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your well-being. You can take care of these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your HVAC equipment to provide appropriate humidity across your residence.
  4. Your home has odors that won’t go away. You might catch a musty odor when you get home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not possible to keep your windows open all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling good again. It exchanges stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other steps the EPA suggests implementing include keeping your house smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your HVAC system. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and might even help them run for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your residence has an air quality issue, give our Contra Costa Heating & AC HVAC specialists a call at 510-343-9841 or contact us online. We’re ready to talk with you about possibilities and offer a free estimate.