We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has calculated most people spend 90% of their day inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.
Poor indoor air quality can have an unfavorable influence on your health. That’s why it’s important to recognize the warnings of poor air quality in your home, what leads to it and how to take care of it.
If you want to know how you can tell if your Marshalltown home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort pros at Kapaun & Brown Inc. can assist you. We’ll go over the issues you’re running into and offer strategies to make your residence’s air better.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you picture pollution, you generally think of smog. But everyday products within your home can make pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.
These starting points include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
- Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that consumes gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excess moisture
- HVAC units
- New flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Artificial building materials, like furniture constructed from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be intensified by insufficient ventilation in your home, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Today’s homes are firmly sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your energy bill but not so fantastic when you have to have extra fresh air in your home.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you could have symptoms right away or in the future. Your symptoms could alleviate when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.
Some of the most regular immediate problems deal with:
- Irritated eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be heightened.
Continuous or lengthy exposure could cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Indications of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better
Your home will also indicate that its air isn’t as fresh as it could be.
- Your residence is excessively dusty, especially by the vents. It’s normal for your home to get dusty over the week, but buildup by your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, very much so if you deal with allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other annoying pollutants.
- Your home has hot and cold areas. Your heating and cooling equipment might be having difficulty maintaining correct temperature and humidity levels. Or there might be air distribution problems because of your HVAC unit or ductwork. Our Kapaun & Brown Inc. pros can diagnose the problem and suggest repairs or replacement.
- Your house’s air seems too dry or too wet. We recommend having your residence’s humidity levels between 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat might feel scratchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your home is too humid during the summer, you may have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your health. You can take care of these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your heating and cooling unit to deliver even humidity across your house.
- Your house has odors that won’t go away. You may detect a stale scent when you come home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not possible to keep your windows open all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling pleasant again. It substitutes stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other steps the EPA recommends doing include keeping your residence smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your heating and cooling unit. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and could even help them run for an extended period of time.
We Can Help Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
If you suspect your home has an air quality issue, give our Kapaun & Brown Inc. HVAC experts a call at 641-812-2028 or contact us online. We’re here to discuss solutions and give you a free estimate.