We are often indoors. In fact, the EPA has calculated most people spend 90% of their day inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times worse than outside.
Poor indoor air quality can have a negative influence on your well-being. That’s why it’s critical to recognize the warnings of poor air quality in your house, what triggers it and how to take care of it.
If you want to know how you can tell if your Huntsville home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort experts at All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc can provide assistance. We’ll review the issues you’re having and provide plans to make your house’s air better.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you think of pollution, you generally think of smog. But everyday items in your house can cause pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.
These sources consist of:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
- Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that uses gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excess moisture
- HVAC equipment
- Recently placed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Artificial building materials, including furniture manufactured from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by a lack of ventilation in your home, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Today’s residences are firmly sealed for energy efficiency, which is good for your utility bill but not so great when you require extra fresh air indoors.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you could experience symptoms right away or later. Your symptoms could go away when you leave your residence but get worse when you return.
Some of the most common immediate issues include:
- Irritated eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be heightened.
Constant or prolonged exposure could lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better
Your home will also indicate that its air isn’t as fresh as it could be.
- Your home is excessively dusty, especially around the vents. It’s normal for your residence to get dusty over the week, but buildup around your air registers should be concerning. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, very much so if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other irritating pollutants.
- Your residence has hot and cold areas. Your heating and cooling equipment could be failing to maintain correct temperature and humidity levels. Or there may be air distribution problems because of your home comfort equipment or ductwork. Our All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc professionals can diagnose the issue and suggest repairs or replacement.
- Your home’s air feels too dry or too wet. We recommend keeping your house’s humidity levels between 30–40% for optimal 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 often. If your home is too humid during warm weather, you could have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your wellness. You can take care of these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your heating and cooling equipment to give balanced humidity around your residence.
- Your home has lingering odors. You might catch a stale scent when you come home. Or a cooking scent that just won’t go away. Since it’s not possible to open your windows all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling good again. It exchanges stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other strategies the EPA advises implementing include keeping your home smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your home comfort equipment. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and could even help them run for a longer amount of time.
We Can Help Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality
If you think your residence has an air quality problem, give our All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc HVAC pros a call at 256-801-4701 or contact us online. We’re available to talk with you about options and give you a free estimate.