We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined many people spend 90% of their day indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.
Poor indoor air quality can have an unfavorable impact on your wellness. That’s why it’s critical to recognize the signs of bad air quality in your home, what causes it and how to take care of it.
If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Florissant home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort experts at B & B Heating & Cooling can assist you. We’ll go over the problems you’re experiencing and offer plans to make your home’s air healthier.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you picture pollution, you generally think of smog. But everyday things within your residence can cause pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.
These starting points include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
- Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that uses gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excessive moisture
- HVAC systems
- New flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Man-made building materials, such as furniture made from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be intensified by a lack of ventilation in your house, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Recently built houses are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your energy costs but not so great when you need additional fresh air in your home.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you may develop symptoms right away or later. Your symptoms could alleviate when you leave your house but get worse when you return.
Some of the most usual immediate problems involve:
- Dry eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be heightened.
Repeated or extended exposure can result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Indications of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It
Your residence will also signal that its air isn’t as clean as it could be.
- Your residence is excessively dusty, particularly near the vents. It’s common for your house to get dusty over the week, but a lot of dust around your air registers should be troubling. There are other particles 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 lower the concentration of dust and other aggravating pollutants.
- Your residence has hot and cold areas. Your HVAC system may be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution troubles because of your HVAC system or ductwork. Our B & B Heating & Cooling specialists can find the problem and advise repairs or replacement.
- Your home’s air appears too dry or too wet. We advise maintaining your house’s humidity percentage near 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat could feel itchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your residence is too humid during warm weather, you may have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your wellness. You can manage these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your heating and cooling equipment to deliver balanced humidity throughout your home.
- Your home has lingering odors. You could detect a musty smell when you arrive. Or a cooking scent that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not feasible to open your windows 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling fresh again. It exchanges stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other steps the EPA recommends doing include keeping your residence smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your HVAC system. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and can even help them run for an extended period of time.
We Can Help Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
If you suspect your home has air quality trouble, give our B & B Heating & Cooling HVAC specialists a call at 314-325-7552 or contact us online. We’re ready to discuss solutions and provide a free estimate.