How Can I Tell if My Homes Air Quality is Bad?

April 27, 2020

If you’re questioning whether your Laurel house has bad indoor air quality (IAQ), it probably does.

We spend much of our time indoors. As a matter of fact, we’re indoors up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside houses could be 2–5 times more contaminated than outdoors, which may lead to long-term health issues.

Most Common Sources of Bad IAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most common origins of inferior IAQ, the problems they create and how you can fix these indoor air pollutants. If you’re troubled by the air inside your residence, we suggest consulting with a professional like H&C Heating and Cooling about which products are a good fit for your family.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are fumes emitted from common household products.

They’re found in paint and stains as well as:

  • Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Building materials
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetics
  • Air fresheners
  • Candles

When these fumes accumulate inside, they might irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They can also result in headaches and nausea. Regardless of whether your residence is in a rural or industrial location, an EPA study found indoor levels of these fumes can be 2–5 times higher than the air outside.

Always adhere to the manufacturer’s directions when painting or cleaning. Unlatching a window can help chemicals disperse more rapidly.

Air purification systems can also improve your air. This equipment works with your heating and cooling unit to improve indoor air. When seeking a model, check that it’s specifically created to eradicate VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can aggravate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continually gets moved by your residence’s comfort system. While you can vacuum more routinely and install a better air filter, an air filtration system might be a better solution.

This equipment connects with your comfort equipment to provide mighty filtration. Some models offer hospital-grade filtration for eliminating particles and bioaerosols.

Lingering Odors

New residences are closely sealed to boost energy efficiency. While this is fantastic for your heating and cooling bill, it’s not ideal for your IAQ.

Stuffy odors can stay around longer because your residence is drawing in reduced fresh air. As keeping your windows open all the time isn’t doable, here are two approaches you can make your indoor air smell fresher.

An air purification system is put in your ducts to wipe out odors before they recirculate. Look for one with a carbon filter and the ability to break down harmful VOCs. This equipment can also help keep your household healthy by wiping out most bacteria and ordinary allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system takes out musty indoor air and replaces it with crisp outdoor air. There are two models of equipment (heat recovery and energy recovery), so check with our technicians for more info on which kind is right for your home.

Unbalanced Humidity

It’s important your house’s humidity stays even. Air that has too much moisture can cause mold, while dry air can create respiratory symptoms.

Our techs advise 40–50% for top comfort. To keep yours steady, think about installing a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your HVAC unit.

Rather than having to pull a humidifier from room to room, this equipment gives even humidity throughout your house.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is colorless gas you can’t smell. It’s caused by unfinished combustion in fuel-burning equipment, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.

It produces an extreme health risk. In little amounts, it can lead to flu-like symptoms like headaches and nausea. It can be lethal in heavy amounts.

We recommend yearly furnace maintenance to make sure your equipment is running properly. This service allows our specialists to discover issues before they get bigger, including malfunctions that can create carbon monoxide leaks.

The best approach to keep your home free of carbon monoxide is to put in detectors. These alarms should be on each floor by bedrooms and living spaces.

Better Your House’s Air Quality with the H&C Heating and Cooling Pros

Aware that your home has inferior air quality but not sure how to make it better? Or unsure which solution is right for you? Give our friendly HVAC pros a call at 301-960-3247 or contact us online now. With free estimates and pro service, we’ll help you choose the right equipment for your family and budget.