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

May 22, 2020

We are often indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined the majority of people spend 90% of their lives indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.

Poor indoor air quality can have a negative effect on your well-being. That’s why it’s critical to identify the signs of inferior air quality in your home, what triggers it and how to fix it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Wausau home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling experts at Gilray Heating and Cooling can help. We’ll go through the issues you’re having and give strategies to make your house’s air fresher.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

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

These sources involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC units
  • Recently installed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, such as furniture manufactured from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by insufficient ventilation in your house, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Today’s residences are securely sealed for energy conservation, which is great for your utility expenses but not so good when you require additional fresh air in your home.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you might have symptoms now or later. Your symptoms may lessen when you leave your house but get worse when you return.

Some of the most common immediate problems deal with:

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

If someone in your home deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be heightened.

Constant or prolonged 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 fresh as it needs to be.

  1. Your residence is excessively dusty, particularly by the vents. It’s expected for your home to get dusty in a week’s time, but buildup around your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, especially if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your home has hot and cold spots. Your HVAC unit may be having difficulty maintaining correct temperature and humidity percentages. Or there may be air distribution troubles due to your HVAC equipment or ductwork. Our Gilray Heating and Cooling pros can find the issue and suggest repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air appears too dry or too wet. We suggest keeping your home’s humidity percentage between 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your home isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat may feel dry. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your home is too humid during warm weather, you could have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your health. You can take care of these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your home comfort unit to give balanced humidity around your home.
  4. Your home has lingering odors. You might detect a stale smell when you arrive. Or a cooking smell that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not feasible to open your windows all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling fresh again. It substitutes stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA suggests taking include keeping your house smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your heating and cooling equipment. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and may even help them work for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your house has air quality trouble, give our Gilray Heating and Cooling HVAC professionals a call at 715-301-0727 or contact us online. We’re ready to discuss options and offer a free estimate.