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

April 27, 2020

If you’re unsure whether your San Jose home has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it probably does.

We spend much of our time indoors. In reality, we’re in a building up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside houses can be 2–5 times worse than outdoors, which could result in long-term health problems.

Most Common Origins of Poor IAQ

We’ve put together a list of the most frequent origins of bad IAQ, the troubles they create and how you can fix these indoor air pollutants. If you’re worried about the air inside your residence, we suggest chatting with a pro like American HVAC Inc about which options are best for your house.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals released by everyday household products.

They’re found in paint and stains in addition to:

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

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

Always use the manufacturer’s directions when applying paint or spraying cleaning products. Opening a window can help chemicals dissipate faster.

Air purification systems can also help. This unit works with your heating and cooling equipment to clean indoor air. When hunting for a model, ensure it’s specifically made to wipe out VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can aggravate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it constantly gets recirculated by your home’s heating and cooling unit. While you can vacuum more frequently and install a better air filter, an air filtration system could be a better match.

This unit works with your HVAC unit to give strong filtration. Some models offer hospital-quality filtration for removing particles and bioaerosols.

Lasting Odors

New residences are tightly sealed to enhance energy efficiency. While this is good for your energy costs, it’s not so good for your IAQ.

Stale odors can hang around for a greater amount of time because your residence is taking in a smaller amount of fresh air. Because keeping your windows open all the time isn’t an option, here are two approaches you can make your indoor air smell cleaner.

An air purification system is installed in your HVAC system to wipe out odors before they recirculate. Find one with a carbon filter and the ability to wipe out harmful VOCs. These units can also help keep your loved ones healthy by getting rid of most bacteria and ordinary allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system removes stuffy indoor air and exchanges it with clean outdoor air. There are two types of systems (heat recovery and energy recovery), so call our technicians for more information on which type is ideal for your house.

Uneven Humidity

It’s important your residence’s humidity remains balanced. Air that has too much moisture can cause mold, while dry air can cause respiratory troubles.

Our experts suggest 40–50% for the best comfort. To keep yours even, think over getting a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your heating and cooling system.

Instead of having to lug a humidifier from room to room, this equipment provides even humidity around your home.

Carbon Monoxide

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

It creates a severe health risk. In low concentrations, it can lead to flu-like sickness like headaches and nausea. It could be fatal in big amounts.

We advise annual furnace maintenance to double-check your unit is working like it should. This job allows our techs to discover problems before they get bigger, including malfunctions that can cause carbon monoxide leaks.

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

Enhance Your Home’s Air Quality with the American HVAC Inc Specialists

Know that your residence has poor air quality but not sure how to enhance it? Or unsure which solution is right for you? Give our friendly HVAC pros a call at 408-215-1018 or contact us online right away. With free estimates and professional service, we’ll help you choose the right option for your home and budget.