We are often indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined the majority of people spend 90% of their lives within a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.
Decreased indoor air quality can have an unfavorable impact on your well-being. That’s why it’s critical to be able to spot the warnings of bad air quality in your house, what leads to it and how to take care of it.
If you want to know how you can tell if your Erie home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC professionals at Patterson & Stirling Inc can provide assistance. We’ll go through the troubles you’re running into and provide strategies to make your residence’s air cleaner.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you picture pollution, you typically think of smog. But common things inside your residence can create pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.
These origins 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 equipment
- Recently placed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Synthetic building materials, such as furniture made from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be intensified by insufficient ventilation in your house, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Today’s houses are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your heating and cooling costs but not so fantastic when you require extra fresh air indoors.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you could develop symptoms now or later. Your symptoms could lessen when you leave home but worsen when you return.
Some of the most usual immediate problems include:
- Dry eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be worse.
Repeated or long-term exposure could result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Indications of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It
Your home will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as healthy as it should be.
- Your residence is very dusty, especially close to the vents. It’s normal for your house to get dusty over the week, but a lot of dust by your air registers should be troubling. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, especially if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other aggravating pollutants.
- Your residence has hot and cold rooms. Your heating and cooling system could be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity amounts. Or there could be air distribution troubles because of your heating and cooling system or ductwork. Our Patterson & Stirling Inc specialists can diagnose the trouble and suggest repairs or replacement.
- Your residence’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend having your residence’s humidity range near 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat can feel dry. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your house is too humid during hot temperatures, you could have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your health. You can manage these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your heating and cooling system to deliver even humidity throughout your residence.
- Your house has odors that won’t go away. You may detect a stale smell when you arrive. Or a cooking odor that just won’t go away. Since it’s not feasible to have your windows open 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling fresh again. It substitutes stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other strategies the EPA suggests taking include keeping your house smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your HVAC equipment. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and can even help them run for a longer amount of time.
We Can Help Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality
If you suspect your home has an air quality issue, give our Patterson & Stirling Inc HVAC experts a call at 814-308-0416 or contact us online. We’re here to discuss possibilities and give you a free estimate.