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

May 22, 2020

We are often indoors. In fact, the EPA has found 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 health. That’s why it’s critical to recognize the symptoms of poor air quality in your residence, what leads to it and how to take care of it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Bartlesville home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort experts at Farris Heating & Air can help. We’ll review the troubles you’re having and give ideas to make your house’s air better.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you picture pollution, you typically think of smog. But common items within your home can lead to pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.

These sources involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Too much moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • Recently installed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, like furniture manufactured from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by a lack of ventilation in your house, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Recently built homes are securely sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your energy costs but not so great when you need extra fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you might have symptoms right away or later. Your symptoms could go away when you leave your house but worsen when you return.

Some of the most common immediate issues include:

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

If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be more severe.

Constant or extended exposure could result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

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

Your residence will also signal that its air isn’t as fresh as it should be.

  1. Your house is very dusty, particularly close to the vents. It’s common for your residence to get dusty over the week, but buildup around your air registers should be concerning. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, particularly if you deal with 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 areas. Your heating and cooling system might be having difficulty maintaining correct temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution issues because of your heating and cooling unit or ductwork. Our Farris Heating & Air pros can pinpoint the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air seems too dry or too wet. We recommend maintaining your house’s humidity range near 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat could feel itchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your home is too humid during warm weather, you may have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your health. You can fight these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your HVAC equipment to give balanced humidity across your residence.
  4. Your residence has lingering odors. You might detect a stuffy smell when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not feasible to open your windows all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling pleasant again. It substitutes stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other approaches the EPA recommends taking include keeping your residence smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your HVAC equipment. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and may even help them work for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your house has an air quality issue, give our Farris Heating & Air HVAC experts a call at 918-534-8194 or contact us online. We’re ready to discuss options and give you a free estimate.