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

May 22, 2020

We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined most people spend 90% of their day inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.

Bad indoor air quality can have an unfavorable impact on your well-being. That’s why it’s essential to identify the warnings of inferior air quality in your residence, what triggers it and how to repair it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Cedar Rapids home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort pros at Ilten's Incorporated can provide assistance. We’ll review the troubles you’re running into and give ideas to make your home’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you usually think of smog. But ordinary things within your house can make pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These sources consist of:

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

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by insufficient ventilation in your house, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Recently built homes are securely sealed for energy savings, which is great for your heating and cooling expenses but not so great when you have to have additional fresh air in your home.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you may develop symptoms immediately or later on. Your symptoms can lessen when you leave your residence but get worse when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate symptoms involve:

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

If someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be heightened.

Continuous or prolonged exposure can cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

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

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

  1. Your house is extremely dusty, notably close to the vents. It’s expected for your home to get dusty in a week’s time, but buildup near your air registers should be concerning. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, especially if you have allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your home has hot and cold rooms. Your HVAC unit might be struggling to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity amounts. Or there may be air distribution troubles due to your home comfort unit or ductwork. Our Ilten's Incorporated specialists can diagnose the issue and advise repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air seems too dry or too wet. We advise having your house’s humidity percentage near 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat might feel scratchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your residence is too humid during hot temperatures, you might have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your wellness. You can fight these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your HVAC unit to give even humidity across your residence.
  4. Your home has odors that stick around. You might notice a stale odor when you arrive. Or a cooking scent that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not feasible to open your windows 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling pleasant again. It substitutes musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other approaches the EPA advises taking include keeping your house smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your home comfort system. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and could even help them work for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your home has air quality trouble, give our Ilten's Incorporated HVAC experts a call at 319-208-3295 or contact us online. We’re available to discuss possibilities and offer a free estimate.