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

May 22, 2020

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

Bad indoor air quality can have an unfavorable effect on your health. That’s why it’s important to identify the warnings of bad air quality in your residence, what triggers it and how to repair it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Long Beach home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling pros at YES R&M Inc. can assist you. We’ll go over the issues you’re experiencing and provide ideas to make your home’s air fresher.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you generally think of smog. But ordinary items within your home can produce pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.

These sources involve:

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

Indoor air pollution can be worsened by insufficient ventilation in your home, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Recently built homes are securely sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your energy expenses but not so good when you have to have more fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you might develop symptoms right away or later. Your symptoms may go away when you leave your residence but get worse when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate symptoms deal with:

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

If someone in your home deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be worse.

Repeated or long-term exposure may lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It

Your house will also indicate that its air isn’t as clean as it could be.

  1. Your house is very dusty, notably by the vents. It’s common for your residence to get dusty in a week’s time, but accumulation by your air registers should be concerning. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, particularly if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold spots. Your home comfort equipment could be failing to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity amounts. Or there might be air distribution problems due to your home comfort equipment or ductwork. Our YES R&M Inc. professionals can pinpoint the trouble and advise repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend maintaining your home’s humidity range around 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat could feel itchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your residence is too humid during warm weather, you could have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your health. You can manage these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your home comfort unit to deliver even humidity across your home.
  4. Your house has odors that stick around. You may notice a musty odor when you get home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not feasible to have your windows open 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling good again. It replaces stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other steps the EPA advises taking include keeping your residence smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your HVAC unit. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and could even help them work for an extended period of time.

We Can Help Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your house has an air quality problem, give our YES R&M Inc. HVAC professionals a call at 562-286-6624 or contact us online. We’re ready to chat with you about options and provide a free estimate.