We are indoors a lot. In fact, the EPA has calculated many people spend 90% of their time indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.
Poor indoor air quality can have an adverse impact on your wellness. That’s why it’s essential to identify the signs of poor air quality in your house, what leads to it and how to take care of it.
If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Houston home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort professionals at Marcos AC & Heating can assist you. We’ll go over the problems you’re running into and offer strategies to make your residence’s air fresher.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you picture pollution, you generally think of smog. But everyday things within your residence can cause pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.
These origins involve:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
- Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that runs on gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excessive moisture
- HVAC systems
- Recently installed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Synthetic 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. Modern residences are firmly sealed for energy conservation, which is great for your heating and cooling costs but not so fantastic when you need extra fresh air indoors.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you might experience symptoms immediately or in the future. Your symptoms may lessen when you leave home but worsen when you return.
Some of the most common immediate symptoms deal with:
- Dry eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your home deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be more severe.
Continuous or long-term exposure can cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Symptoms of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It
Your house will also signal that its air isn’t as clean as it needs to be.
- Your residence is very dusty, especially around the vents. It’s expected for your house to get dusty over the week, but accumulation close to your air registers should be troubling. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, very much so if you deal with allergies or asthma. A higher-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 home comfort equipment may be having difficulty maintaining proper temperature and humidity amounts. Or there may be air distribution troubles as a result of your HVAC unit or ductwork. Our Marcos AC & Heating specialists can find the problem and recommend repairs or replacement.
- Your residence’s air seems too dry or too wet. We recommend having your house’s humidity range near 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat can feel dry. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. 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 fight these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your HVAC equipment to give appropriate humidity across your home.
- Your residence has odors that stick around. You could notice a musty odor when you come home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not possible to open your windows all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling pleasant again. It exchanges stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other steps the EPA advises doing include keeping your home smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your HVAC unit. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and could even help them run longer.
We Can Help Enhance Your House’s Indoor Air Quality
If you suspect your residence has an air quality issue, give our Marcos AC & Heating HVAC pros a call at 713-469-3357 or contact us online. We’re available to talk with you about solutions and provide a free estimate.