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How Can I Tell if My Homes Air Quality is Bad?

If you’re questioning whether your Cedar Rapids home has bad indoor air quality (IAQ), it probably does.

We are indoors a lot. In reality, we’re indoors up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside houses can be 2–5 times more contaminated than outdoors, which could lead to long-term health issues.

Most Common Sources of Poor IAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most frequent causes of inferior IAQ, the troubles they create and how you can take care of these indoor air pollutants. If you’re worried about the air inside your home, we suggest talking with a pro like Ilten's Incorporated about which options are a good fit for your house.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are vapors released by regular household items.

They’re found in paint and stains as well as:

  • Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Building materials
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetics
  • Air fresheners
  • Candles

When these chemicals collect indoors, they can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They can also cause headaches and nausea. Regardless of whether your house is in a rural or industrial location, an EPA study found indoor levels of these chemicals can be 2–5 times higher than the air outside.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using paint or cleaning supplies. Cracking a window can help chemicals disperse more rapidly.

Air purification systems can also help. This system collaborates with your heating and cooling unit to freshen indoor air. When looking for a model, make sure it’s specifically made to wipe out VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can aggravate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it constantly gets redistributed by your home’s HVAC unit. While you can vacuum more regularly and install an enhanced air filter, an air filtration system might be a better solution.

This solution hooks to your HVAC system to give powerful filtration. Some models have hospital-grade filtration for eliminating particles and bioaerosols.

Persistent Odors

Newer residences are closely sealed to boost energy efficiency. While this is fantastic for your utility expenses, it’s not very good for your IAQ.

Musty odors can stay around for an extended amount of time since your residence is drawing in reduced fresh air. As keeping your windows open all the time isn’t a possibility, here are two methods you can make your indoor air smell better.

An air purification system is placed in your HVAC system to wipe out odors before they are redistributed. Find one with a carbon filter and the capability to eliminate dangerous VOCs. This equipment can also help keep your family healthy by getting rid of most bacteria and normal allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system takes out musty indoor air and exchanges it with clean outdoor air. There are two types of equipment (heat recovery and energy recovery), so ask our experts for more information on which type is best for your house.

Unbalanced Humidity

It’s essential your home’s humidity keeps steady. Air that’s too humid can create mold, while dry air can create respiratory issues.

Our experts advise 40–50% for ideal comfort. To keep yours steady, think over installing a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your HVAC equipment.

Rather than having to pull a humidifier from room to room, this equipment provides even humidity across your residence.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is gas you can’t see or smell. It’s a byproduct of unfinished combustion in fuel-burning equipment, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.

It poses an extreme health risk. In little amounts, it can cause flu-like ailments like headaches and nausea. It could be lethal in large amounts.

We recommend regular furnace maintenance to double-check your equipment is working like it should. This service allows our technicians to see issues before they begin, including malfunctions that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks.

The best way to keep your residence free of carbon monoxide is to put in detectors. These alarms should be on each floor by bedrooms and living rooms.

Enhance Your Residence’s Air Quality with the Ilten's Incorporated Pros

Know that your home has bad air quality but not sure how to enhance it? Or unsure which solution is best for you? Give our friendly HVAC experts a call at 319-208-3295 or contact us online today. With free estimates and pro support, we’ll help you locate the best equipment for your home and budget.

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