Signs Your Residence Has Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Restore It

May 22, 2020

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

Bad indoor air quality can have an adverse influence on your wellness. That’s why it’s critical to recognize the warnings of bad air quality in your house, what leads to it and how to fix it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Mankato area home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC professionals at Northern Comfort Inc can provide assistance. We’ll go through the troubles you’re experiencing and provide ideas to make your house’s air cleaner.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you picture pollution, you typically think of smog. But ordinary items within your house can produce pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.

These sources involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Man-made building materials, like furniture made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be worsened by a lack of ventilation in your house, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Recently built houses are firmly sealed for energy savings, which is great for your utility bill but not so fantastic when you require more fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you might experience symptoms right away or later. Your symptoms could alleviate when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate symptoms deal with:

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

If someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be more severe.

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

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

Your residence will also indicate that its air isn’t as fresh as it could be.

  1. Your home is very dusty, notably close to the vents. It’s common for your house to get dusty during the week, but buildup around your air registers should be concerning. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, especially if you have allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold areas. Your home comfort equipment may be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity amounts. Or there could be air distribution troubles as a result of your home comfort equipment or ductwork. Our Northern Comfort Inc pros can locate the problem and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your residence’s air feels too dry or too wet. We suggest having your home’s humidity levels between 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your home isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat can feel scratchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your house is too humid during the summer, you might have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your health. You can manage these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your home comfort equipment to give even humidity across your home.
  4. Your residence has odors that stick around. You could notice a stale smell when you get home. Or a cooking scent that just won’t go away. Since it’s not possible to open your windows 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling pleasant again. It replaces stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA suggests implementing include keeping your residence smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your HVAC equipment. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and may even help them work for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you think your house has an air quality problem, give our Northern Comfort Inc HVAC experts a call at 507-387-6596 or contact us online. We’re ready to chat with you about possibilities and give you a free estimate.