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

May 22, 2020

We are indoors a lot. In fact, the EPA has calculated many people spend 90% of their time inside 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 health. That’s why it’s critical to recognize the symptoms of inferior air quality in your house, what causes it and how to fix it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your York home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort professionals at Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning can assist you. We’ll review the troubles you’re running into and provide ideas to make your house’s air cleaner.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you typically think of smog. But common things in your house can cause pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.

These sources consist of:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC units
  • Recently installed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, such as furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by not enough ventilation in your house, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Modern homes are tightly sealed for energy conservation, which is great for your utility expenses 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 respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you might have symptoms right away or later on. Your symptoms could alleviate when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.

Some of the most common immediate symptoms involve:

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

If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be worse.

Continuous or long-term exposure can result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

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

Your house will also indicate that its air isn’t as healthy as it could be.

  1. Your house is extremely dusty, notably close to the vents. It’s normal for your house to get dusty over the week, but accumulation 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, especially if you have 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 home comfort equipment could be having difficulty maintaining correct temperature and humidity levels. Or there may be air distribution issues as a result of your home comfort unit or ductwork. Our Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning specialists can diagnose the problem and suggest repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air seems too dry or too wet. We recommend having your residence’s humidity levels near 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat might feel scratchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your residence is too humid during hot temperatures, you may have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your well-being. You can fight these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your heating and cooling equipment to deliver balanced humidity around your residence.
  4. Your residence has odors that won’t go away. You might catch a stuffy smell when you get home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not feasible to open your windows all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling fresh again. It exchanges stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other approaches the EPA recommends implementing include keeping your house smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your home comfort equipment. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and can even help them last longer.

We Can Help Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has an air quality issue, give our Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning HVAC experts a call at 717-383-4479 or contact us online. We’re here to talk with you about options and provide a free estimate.