We are indoors a lot. In fact, the EPA has found many people spend 90% of their day indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.
Bad indoor air quality can have a negative influence on your health. That’s why it’s essential to be able to spot the signs of poor air quality in your home, what causes it and how to repair it.
If you want to know how you can tell if your Laurel home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling experts at H&C Heating and Cooling can provide assistance. We’ll review the issues you’re having and provide strategies to make your home’s air healthier.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you envision pollution, you generally think of smog. But common items inside your residence can make pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.
These sources involve:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
- Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that uses gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excessive moisture
- HVAC systems
- Recently installed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Man-made building materials, like furniture constructed from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by insufficient ventilation in your house, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Modern homes are tightly sealed for energy conservation, which is great for your utility bill but not so great when you have to have extra fresh air indoors.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you could develop symptoms immediately or in the future. Your symptoms can alleviate when you leave home but get worse when you return.
Some of the most common immediate symptoms deal with:
- Scratchy eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be more severe.
Continuous or lengthy exposure may result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It
Your house will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as healthy as it should be.
- Your residence is excessively dusty, especially around 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 things 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 higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help cut down on dust and other irritating pollutants.
- Your house has hot and cold spots. Your heating and cooling equipment might be having difficulty maintaining proper temperature and humidity percentages. Or there could be air distribution issues as a result of your HVAC unit or ductwork. Our H&C Heating and Cooling professionals can locate the problem and suggest repairs or replacement.
- Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We suggest maintaining your residence’s humidity levels between 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat might feel dry. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your house is too humid during the summer, you could have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your health. You can manage these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your HVAC equipment to provide even humidity throughout your home.
- Your home has lingering odors. You may detect a stuffy odor when you get home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not feasible to have your windows open 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling pleasant again. It exchanges stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other approaches the EPA recommends implementing include keeping your house smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your home comfort system. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and might even help them run for a greater amount of time.
We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality
If you believe your residence has an air quality issue, give our H&C Heating and Cooling HVAC experts a call at 301-960-3247 or contact us online. We’re here to discuss solutions and give you a free estimate.