We are often indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined many people spend 90% of their lives indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times worse than outside.
Poor indoor air quality can have an unfavorable effect on your well-being. That’s why it’s critical to recognize the symptoms of bad air quality in your house, what causes it and how to take care of it.
If you want to know how you can tell if your Hamilton home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling pros at Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC can help. We’ll go over the issues you’re experiencing and give ideas to make your house’s air fresher.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you envision pollution, you generally think of smog. But common items in your residence can produce pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.
These sources include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
- Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that runs on gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excessive moisture
- HVAC units
- Recently installed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Artificial building materials, like furniture manufactured from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be worsened by not enough ventilation in your house, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Recently built houses are securely sealed for energy savings, which is a plus for your utility bill but not so fantastic when you need extra fresh air in your home.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you might have symptoms immediately or in the future. Your symptoms may alleviate when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.
Some of the most usual immediate symptoms deal with:
- Dry eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be heightened.
Constant or lengthy exposure can lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Signs of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better
Your home will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as healthy as it should be.
- Your home is excessively dusty, notably around the vents. It’s normal for your residence to get dusty in a week’s time, but a lot of dust by your air registers should be concerning. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, particularly if you deal with allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other annoying pollutants.
- Your home has hot and cold rooms. Your home comfort equipment may be having difficulty maintaining proper temperature and humidity percentages. Or there could be air distribution problems due to your heating and cooling equipment or ductwork. Our Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC professionals can diagnose the problem and advise repairs or replacement.
- Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend maintaining your home’s humidity range around 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat might feel dry. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your residence is too humid during warm weather, you might have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your health. You can combat these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your heating and cooling equipment to deliver even humidity around your home.
- Your residence has odors that stick around. You could notice a stale scent when you get home. Or a cooking scent that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not practical to open your windows all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling good again. It substitutes stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other strategies the EPA suggests taking include keeping your home smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your HVAC system. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and may even help them run for an extended period of time.
We Can Help Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality
If you think your home has air quality trouble, give our Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC HVAC professionals a call at 513-268-5164 or contact us online. We’re available to discuss options and provide a free estimate.