Signs Your House Has Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Restore It

May 22, 2020

We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined the majority of people spend 90% of their day indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times worse than outside.

Decreased indoor air quality can have a negative influence on your health. That’s why it’s important to be able to spot the signs of bad air quality in your home, what leads to it and how to fix it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Keokuk home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC professionals at WM J Kraus & Son can provide assistance. We’ll go over the issues you’re running into and offer ideas to make your residence’s air cleaner.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you generally think of smog. But ordinary products inside your residence can make pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These sources involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • Recently installed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, such as furniture manufactured from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by not enough ventilation in your house, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Today’s homes are firmly sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your utility expenses but not so good when you require additional fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you may develop symptoms immediately or later on. Your symptoms could lessen when you leave home but worsen when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate symptoms deal with:

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

If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be more severe.

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

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

Your home will also indicate that its air isn’t as fresh as it should be.

  1. Your house is excessively dusty, particularly by the vents. It’s expected for your home to get dusty during the week, but accumulation near your air registers should be concerning. There are other things 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 lower the concentration of dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold rooms. Your home comfort unit might be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity percentages. Or there could be air distribution troubles as a result of your heating and cooling system or ductwork. Our WM J Kraus & Son pros can diagnose the issue and suggest repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We suggest having your residence’s humidity levels near 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat may feel itchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your residence is too humid during the summer, you might have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your health. You can take care of these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your home comfort system to provide balanced humidity around your house.
  4. Your house has odors that stick around. You might catch a stale scent when you arrive. Or a cooking odor that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not feasible to keep your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling good again. It replaces stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA suggests taking include keeping your residence smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your home comfort equipment. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and can even help them last for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has an air quality issue, give our WM J Kraus & Son HVAC experts a call at 319-229-2318 or contact us online. We’re available to chat with you about options and give you a free estimate.