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

If you’re unsure whether your the Bay Area residence has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it probably does.

We spend a lot of time inside. As a matter of fact, we’re indoors up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside residences could be 2–5 times more polluted than outdoors, which can create long-term health issues.

Most Common Sources of Unsatisfactory IAQ

We’ve made a list of the most frequent sources of inferior IAQ, the issues they make and how you can fix these indoor air pollutants. If you’re troubled by the air inside your residence, we recommend talking with a specialist like Contra Costa Heating & AC about which solutions are ideal for your family.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are fumes released by common household items.

They’re found in paint and stains along with:

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

When these fumes build up indoors, they may irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They can also cause headaches and nausea. Regardless of whether your home is in a rural or industrial space, an EPA study found indoor levels of these pollutants can be 2–5 times higher than the air outside.

Always follow the manufacturer’s directions when using paint or cleaning supplies. Unlatching a window can help vapors disperse more rapidly.

Air purification systems can also improve your air. This system works with your heating and cooling equipment to clean indoor air. When looking for a model, check that it’s specifically designed to eliminate VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can trigger health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continuously gets redistributed by your house’s heating and cooling system. While you can vacuum more routinely and buy an improved air filter, an air filtration system might be a better match.

This equipment hooks to your heating and cooling unit to provide mighty filtration. Some kinds provide hospital-grade filtration for removing particles and bioaerosols.

Lingering Odors

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

Stuffy odors can hang around longer as your residence is pulling in reduced fresh air. As keeping your windows open all the time isn’t an option, here are two methods you can make your indoor air smell cleaner.

An air purification system is put in your HVAC system to eliminate odors before they are redistributed. Find one with a carbon filter and the capability to eliminate harmful VOCs. This equipment can also help keep your household healthy by wiping out most bacteria and normal allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system removes stale indoor air and exchanges it with clean outdoor air. There are two kinds of equipment (heat recovery and energy recovery), so check with our techs for more information on which type is best for your house.

Unbalanced Humidity

It’s important your house’s humidity stays steady. Air that’s too moist can create mold, while dry air can cause respiratory issues.

Our professionals advise 40–50% for top comfort. To keep yours even, consider buying a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your comfort equipment.

Instead of having to drag a humidifier from room to room, this solution gives balanced humidity across your residence.

Carbon Monoxide

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

It produces a severe health risk. In small amounts, it can create flu-like symptoms like headaches and nausea. It could be fatal in heavy concentrations.

We recommend yearly furnace maintenance to make sure your unit is working smoothly. This service allows our techs to pinpoint troubles before they start, including malfunctions that can cause carbon monoxide leaks.

The best method to keep your home free of carbon monoxide is to put in detectors. These alarms must be on every floor near bedrooms and living areas.

Better Your House’s Air Quality with the Contra Costa Heating & AC Specialists

Know that your house has bad air quality but not sure how to improve it? Or unsure which solution is ideal for you? Give our friendly HVAC specialists a call at 510-343-9841 or contact us online now. With free estimates and pro service, we’ll help you locate the right option for your family and budget.

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