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

May 22, 2020

We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined many people spend 90% of their day inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.

Bad indoor air quality can have an adverse impact on your health. That’s why it’s important to know the warnings of bad air quality in your house, what triggers it and how to repair it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your San Jose home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling pros at American HVAC Inc can provide assistance. We’ll review the problems you’re having and give ideas to make your residence’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

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

These sources include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC units
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, like furniture made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be worsened by not enough ventilation in your home, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Today’s houses are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, which is a plus for your heating and cooling bill but not so good when you require additional fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you may have symptoms right away or later on. Your symptoms could alleviate when you leave home but come back when you return.

Some of the most usual immediate problems deal with:

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

If someone in your household deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be worse.

Repeated or lengthy exposure could cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

Your house will also indicate that its air isn’t as healthy as it needs to be.

  1. Your residence is extremely dusty, particularly close to the vents. It’s normal for your house to get dusty during the week, but a lot of dust close to 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 have allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other aggravating pollutants.
  2. Your residence has hot and cold spots. Your home comfort system could be having difficulty maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there may be air distribution problems because of your heating and cooling system or ductwork. Our American HVAC Inc specialists can pinpoint the issue and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air feels too dry or too wet. We recommend maintaining your home’s humidity levels around 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat could feel itchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your residence is too humid during hot temperatures, you could have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your well-being. You can combat these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your home comfort system to give appropriate humidity around your house.
  4. Your residence has odors that stick around. You could notice a stuffy scent when you get home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not practical to open your windows all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling good again. It substitutes stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other steps the EPA advises taking include keeping your house smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your heating and cooling system. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and could even help them work longer.

We Can Help Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your home has an air quality problem, give our American HVAC Inc HVAC specialists a call at 408-215-1018 or contact us online. We’re here to discuss options and offer a free estimate.