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

May 22, 2020

We are often indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined most people spend 90% of their lives indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.

Bad indoor air quality can have an adverse effect on your well-being. That’s why it’s important to be able to spot the signs of bad air quality in your home, what leads to it and how to repair it.

If you want to know how you can tell if your Magnolia home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling pros at JTech Mechanical can provide assistance. We’ll go over the issues you’re running into and offer strategies to make your home’s air fresher.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you picture pollution, you usually think of smog. But ordinary things within your residence can produce pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.

These starting points involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • Recently installed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, like furniture made 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 residences are tightly sealed for energy conservation, which is good for your utility costs but not so fantastic when you need additional fresh air in your home.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you could develop symptoms now or later on. Your symptoms can go away when you leave home but come back when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate issues include:

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

If someone in your home has allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be more severe.

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

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

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

  1. Your home is excessively dusty, notably around the vents. It’s normal for your home to get dusty over the week, but a lot of dust by your air registers should be concerning. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, particularly if you deal with allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your residence has hot and cold areas. Your home comfort unit could be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution problems because of your HVAC equipment or ductwork. Our JTech Mechanical pros can diagnose the trouble and suggest repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend keeping your house’s humidity levels between 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your home isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat might feel scratchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your house is too humid during warm weather, you may have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your well-being. You can manage these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your heating and cooling equipment to give appropriate humidity around your home.
  4. Your house has lingering odors. You may catch a musty scent when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not practical to keep your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling good again. It replaces stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other steps the EPA advises taking include keeping your residence smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your heating and cooling unit. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and may even help them work for an extended period of time.

We Can Help Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has air quality trouble, give our JTech Mechanical HVAC experts a call at 281-231-8768 or contact us online. We’re available to chat with you about options and provide a free estimate.