We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has calculated many people spend 90% of their time indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times worse than outside.
Decreased indoor air quality can have an adverse impact on your health. That’s why it’s critical to identify the symptoms of bad air quality in your house, what triggers it and how to repair it.
If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Pocatello home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling professionals at Vogts Heating & Air can help. We’ll go through the troubles you’re having and offer ideas to make your home’s air fresher.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you picture pollution, you typically think of smog. But everyday things inside your house can make pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.
These starting points include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
- Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that uses gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excessive moisture
- HVAC units
- Recently installed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Man-made building materials, such as furniture manufactured from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be intensified by not enough ventilation in your house, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Modern residences are tightly sealed for energy savings, which is a plus for your heating and cooling expenses but not so great when you need extra fresh air inside.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you may develop symptoms right away or in the future. Your symptoms can go away when you leave home but come back when you return.
Some of the most usual immediate problems include:
- Irritated eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be worse.
Continuous or long-term exposure may result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Signs of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It
Your residence will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as clean as it should be.
- Your residence is very dusty, notably around the vents. It’s normal for your house to get dusty over the week, but accumulation close to your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, very much so if you have allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help cut down on dust and other aggravating pollutants.
- Your residence has hot and cold rooms. Your home comfort system might be struggling to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity amounts. Or there might be air distribution problems due to your home comfort unit or ductwork. Our Vogts Heating & Air specialists can pinpoint the problem and suggest repairs or replacement.
- Your residence’s air seems too dry or too wet. We recommend maintaining your residence’s humidity percentage around 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat might feel scratchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your house is too humid during warm weather, you might have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your health. You can manage these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your HVAC unit to deliver even humidity throughout your residence.
- Your home has odors that stick around. You might notice a musty smell when you come home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t go away. Since it’s not feasible to keep your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling pleasant again. It replaces stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other approaches the EPA advises doing include keeping your residence smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your heating and cooling unit. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and could even help them work for a greater amount of time.
We Can Help Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality
If you suspect your home has an air quality issue, give our Vogts Heating & Air HVAC pros a call at 208-621-0129 or contact us online. We’re ready to chat with you about solutions and give you a free estimate.