Signs Your Residence Has Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

May 22, 2020

We are indoors a lot. In fact, the EPA has calculated many people spend 90% of their day inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times worse than outside.

Decreased indoor air quality can have a negative influence on your well-being. That’s why it’s important to recognize the symptoms of inferior air quality in your house, what leads to it and how to take care of it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Lodi home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling experts at Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning can help. We’ll go over the issues you’re having and give strategies to make your house’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

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

These origins include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • New flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, like furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be worsened by insufficient ventilation in your home, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Recently built homes are securely sealed for energy efficiency, which is good for your utility bill but not so fantastic when you require additional fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you could develop symptoms right away or later on. Your symptoms may alleviate when you leave your house but come back when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate issues deal with:

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

If someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be worse.

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

Other Symptoms of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better

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

  1. Your house is very dusty, notably close to the vents. It’s expected for your house to get dusty during the week, but accumulation near your air registers should be concerning. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, very much so if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help cut down on dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold areas. Your heating and cooling equipment might be failing to maintain correct temperature and humidity amounts. Or there could be air distribution problems because of your home comfort system or ductwork. Our Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning specialists can diagnose the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend maintaining your residence’s humidity range around 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your home isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat may feel scratchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your residence is too humid during the summer, you could have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your health. You can combat these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your home comfort system to provide even humidity across your house.
  4. Your home has lingering odors. You could notice a stuffy scent when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not possible to have your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling pleasant again. It exchanges stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other steps the EPA suggests doing include keeping your residence smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your HVAC unit. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and may even help them run longer.

We Can Help Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your house has an air quality problem, give our Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning HVAC experts a call at 209-257-3156 or contact us online. We’re here to chat with you about possibilities and offer a free estimate.