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

May 22, 2020

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

Bad indoor air quality can have an unfavorable impact on your health. That’s why it’s important to be able to spot the symptoms of poor air quality in your home, what causes it and how to take care of it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Excelsior Springs home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling pros at Colvin's Heating and Cooling can assist you. We’ll go over the problems you’re running into and provide suggestions to make your home’s air cleaner.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you think of pollution, you typically think of smog. But everyday products within your home can produce pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.

These origins involve:

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

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by insufficient ventilation in your house, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Today’s houses are securely sealed for energy efficiency, which is good for your utility bill but not so great when you require more fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you might develop symptoms now or in the future. Your symptoms can lessen when you leave home but get worse when you return.

Some of the most usual immediate problems involve:

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

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

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

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

Your home will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as healthy as it should be.

  1. Your home is extremely dusty, particularly by the vents. It’s common for your residence to get dusty over the week, but a lot of dust by your air registers should be troubling. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, very much so if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your home has hot and cold rooms. Your heating and cooling equipment may be failing to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity amounts. Or there may be air distribution troubles because of your heating and cooling equipment or ductwork. Our Colvin's Heating and Cooling professionals can locate the problem and suggest repairs or replacement.
  3. Your residence’s air feels too dry or too wet. We recommend having your house’s humidity percentage near 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat can feel scratchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your house is too humid during hot temperatures, you could have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your wellness. 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 residence.
  4. Your residence has odors that won’t go away. You may detect a stuffy odor when you come home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t go away. Since it’s not practical to have your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling good again. It substitutes stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other approaches the EPA recommends doing include keeping your residence smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your heating and cooling system. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and can even help them work for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has air quality trouble, give our Colvin's Heating and Cooling HVAC pros a call at 816-379-3918 or contact us online. We’re available to chat with you about solutions and offer a free estimate.