How Can I Tell if My Homes Air Quality is Bad?

April 27, 2020

If you’re unsure whether your Wausau residence has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it likely does.

We spend a lot of time inside. As a matter of fact, we’re in a building up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside homes could be 2–5 times more polluted than outdoors, which may create long-term health concerns.

Most Common Sources of Unsatisfactory IAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most frequent sources of poor IAQ, the issues they make and how you can fix these indoor air pollutants. If you’re troubled by the air inside your home, we recommend consulting with a specialist like Gilray Heating and Cooling about which options are a good fit for your home.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals leaked by regular household products.

They’re found in paint and stains along with:

  • Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Building materials
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetics
  • Air fresheners
  • Candles

When these vapors build up indoors, they might irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They can also result in headaches and nausea. Regardless of whether your residence is in a rural or industrial location, an EPA study found indoor levels of these pollutants can be 2–5 times worse than the air outside.

Always use the manufacturer’s instructions when using paint or cleaning supplies. Cracking a window can help vapors disperse faster.

Air purification systems can also make it better. This system collaborates with your heating and cooling unit to clean indoor air. When seeking one, ensure it’s specifically made to wipe out VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can trigger health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continuously gets redistributed by your home’s HVAC equipment. While you can vacuum more regularly and buy an improved air filter, an air filtration system might be a better solution.

This unit hooks to your HVAC system to deliver powerful filtration. Some kinds provide hospital-grade filtration for eliminating particles and bioaerosols.

Lasting Odors

New homes are closely sealed to enhance energy efficiency. While this is fantastic for your utility costs, it’s not very good for your IAQ.

Stale odors can stay around for a greater amount of time because your home is drawing in a smaller amount of fresh air. As keeping your windows open all year round isn’t a possibility, here are two approaches you can make your indoor air smell better.

An air purification system is installed in your ducts to wipe out odors before they are redistributed. Find one with a carbon filter and the ability to eliminate dangerous VOCs. These units can also help keep your household healthy by getting rid of most bacteria and normal allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system pulls out stale indoor air and replaces it with fresh outdoor air. There are two kinds of systems (heat recovery and energy recovery), so call our technicians for more information on which kind is right for your house.

Unbalanced Humidity

It’s important your home’s humidity keeps steady. Air that has too much moisture can lead to mold, while dry air can create respiratory concerns.

Our professionals recommend 40–50% for top comfort. To keep yours in balance, consider installing a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your heating and cooling unit.

Instead of having to pull a humidifier from room to room, this solution provides balanced humidity throughout your home.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is gas you can’t see or smell. It’s a byproduct of insufficient combustion in fuel-burning equipment, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.

It poses an extreme health risk. In small levels, it can lead to flu-like symptoms like headaches and nausea. It can be fatal in heavy levels.

We advise regular furnace maintenance to double-check your system is working properly. This service allows our pros to see issues before they begin, including malfunctions that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks.

The best way to keep your home free of carbon monoxide is to get detectors. These alarms should be on all floors close to bedrooms and living rooms.

Improve Your Home’s Air Quality with the Gilray Heating and Cooling Professionals

Informed that your house has poor air quality but not sure how to improve it? Or unsure which product is a good fit for you? Give our kind HVAC specialists a call at 715-301-0727 or contact us online now. With free estimates and professional support, we’ll help you locate the right option for your home and budget.