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

May 22, 2020

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

Decreased indoor air quality can have an adverse impact on your well-being. That’s why it’s critical to identify the warnings of inferior air quality in your residence, what causes it and how to fix it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Williamsport home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling professionals at Lycoming Heating Company can help. We’ll go over the troubles you’re having and provide plans to make your home’s air better.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you typically think of smog. But ordinary items within your residence can lead to pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These sources include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
  • Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC units
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, including furniture manufactured from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be worsened by a lack of ventilation in your residence, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Modern homes are firmly sealed for energy savings, which is a plus for your heating and cooling bill but not so fantastic when you need additional 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 immediately or later on. Your symptoms can go away when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.

Some of the most common immediate issues involve:

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

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

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

Other Symptoms of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It

Your house will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as fresh as it should be.

  1. Your home is very dusty, particularly by the vents. It’s common for your house to get dusty during the week, but accumulation close to your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, particularly if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your home has hot and cold spots. Your heating and cooling unit could be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution troubles as a result of your HVAC equipment or ductwork. Our Lycoming Heating Company professionals can find the issue and advise repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air feels too dry or too wet. We advise maintaining your house’s humidity levels between 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat may feel scratchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your residence is too humid during warm weather, you might have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your health. You can fight these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your home comfort equipment to deliver even humidity across your home.
  4. Your residence has lingering odors. You may notice a musty smell when you get home. Or a cooking scent that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not practical to open your windows all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling good again. It replaces musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA suggests doing include keeping your home smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your home comfort system. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and might even help them last longer.

We Can Help Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has air quality trouble, give our Lycoming Heating Company HVAC specialists a call at 570-244-2510 or contact us online. We’re here to talk with you about solutions and give you a free estimate.