Signs Your House Has Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

May 22, 2020

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

Bad indoor air quality can have an unfavorable effect on your well-being. That’s why it’s essential to recognize the symptoms of bad air quality in your home, what triggers it and how to repair it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Albuquerque home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort professionals at I-Deal HVAC can help. We’ll go through the issues you’re running into and offer ideas to make your house’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you picture pollution, you typically think of smog. But common things in your house can lead to pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.

These sources include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Man-made building materials, including furniture made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be worsened by insufficient ventilation in your home, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Today’s residences are firmly sealed for energy conservation, which is a plus for your energy costs but not so great when you need more fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you may experience symptoms now or later. Your symptoms could go away when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.

Some of the most common immediate symptoms deal with:

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

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

Continuous or lengthy exposure may cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Symptoms of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better

Your residence will also signal that its air isn’t as clean as it needs to be.

  1. Your house is excessively dusty, especially close to the vents. It’s normal for your home to get dusty over the week, but accumulation close to your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, very much so if you deal with allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help cut down on dust and other aggravating pollutants.
  2. Your residence has hot and cold rooms. Your HVAC unit could be struggling to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity percentages. Or there may be air distribution issues due to your heating and cooling equipment or ductwork. Our I-Deal HVAC professionals can find the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your residence’s air seems too dry or too wet. We suggest keeping your residence’s humidity levels around 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat might feel scratchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your home is too humid during warm weather, you might have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your wellness. You can combat these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your heating and cooling equipment to provide appropriate humidity around your home.
  4. Your home has odors that won’t go away. You could detect a musty odor when you get home. Or a cooking scent that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not practical to keep your windows open all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling fresh again. It exchanges stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA recommends implementing include keeping your house smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your HVAC equipment. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and could even help them run for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Enhance Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you think your house has an air quality issue, give our I-Deal HVAC HVAC professionals a call at 505-445-1250 or contact us online. We’re available to talk with you about solutions and provide a free estimate.