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

May 22, 2020

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

Bad indoor air quality can have an unfavorable influence on your wellness. That’s why it’s important to be able to spot the warnings of inferior air quality in your residence, what triggers it and how to fix it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Sacramento home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC pros at American HVAC Inc can assist you. We’ll go over the problems you’re running into and offer strategies to make your home’s air better.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you think of pollution, you usually think of smog. But everyday products in your home can create pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.

These origins involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Too much moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, such as furniture made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by insufficient ventilation in your home, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Recently built houses are tightly sealed for energy conservation, which is good for your energy expenses but not so great when you require extra fresh air in your home.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you may experience symptoms right away or later. Your symptoms can lessen when you leave your house but worsen when you return.

Some of the most common immediate symptoms deal with:

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

If someone in your home deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be worse.

Continuous or prolonged exposure could lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

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

Your house will also signal that its air isn’t as healthy as it should be.

  1. Your residence is excessively dusty, particularly close to the vents. It’s normal for your residence to get dusty in a week’s time, but a lot of dust close to your air registers should be concerning. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, especially if you have allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your residence has hot and cold areas. Your home comfort system could be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution issues because of your home comfort system or ductwork. Our American HVAC Inc specialists can find the issue and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your residence’s air seems too dry or too wet. We advise maintaining your residence’s humidity range around 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat could feel scratchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your residence is too humid during the summer, you might have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your health. You can fight these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your HVAC unit to provide appropriate humidity across your house.
  4. Your residence has odors that won’t go away. You may notice a stuffy smell when you come home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not practical to keep your windows open 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling good again. It substitutes stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA suggests doing include keeping your residence smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your home comfort system. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and can even help them work for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has air quality trouble, give our American HVAC Inc HVAC pros a call at 916-243-6714 or contact us online. We’re here to discuss options and provide a free estimate.