Signs Your Home Has Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

May 22, 2020

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

Poor indoor air quality can have a negative impact on your well-being. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of inferior air quality in your house, what causes it and how to repair it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Beaverton home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling experts at Garoken Energy Co. Inc. can provide assistance. We’ll go through the issues you’re experiencing and give ideas to make your residence’s air better.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you think of pollution, you typically think of smog. But ordinary products inside your residence can cause pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These starting points involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Too much moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, including furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by insufficient ventilation in your house, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Today’s houses are securely sealed for energy savings, which is great for your energy expenses but not so fantastic when you require more fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you might experience symptoms immediately or later on. Your symptoms may alleviate when you leave home but come back when you return.

Some of the most common immediate symptoms include:

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

If someone in your household deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be more severe.

Constant or lengthy exposure could lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Indications of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better

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

  1. Your house is extremely dusty, especially close to the vents. It’s common for your house to get dusty during the week, but buildup close to your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, particularly if you deal with allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your home has hot and cold spots. Your home comfort system might be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there might be air distribution problems as a result of your heating and cooling system or ductwork. Our Garoken Energy Co. Inc. specialists can locate the trouble and suggest repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air feels too dry or too wet. We recommend maintaining your home’s humidity levels around 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 regularly. If your house is too humid during the summer, you could have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your wellness. You can fight these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your home comfort equipment to give even humidity around your house.
  4. Your house has lingering odors. You might notice a musty smell when you arrive. Or a cooking scent that just won’t go away. Since it’s not practical to keep your windows open all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling fresh again. It replaces stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA recommends doing include keeping your house smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your heating and cooling equipment. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and might even help them last for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your home has an air quality issue, give our Garoken Energy Co. Inc. HVAC specialists a call at 503-374-1934 or contact us online. We’re available to chat with you about solutions and give you a free estimate.