We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has calculated the majority of people spend 90% of their lives indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.
Decreased indoor air quality can have an adverse impact on your health. That’s why it’s critical to know the symptoms of poor air quality in your home, what causes it and how to take care of it.
If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Tucson home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort experts at A&M Heating & Cooling LLC can help. We’ll review the troubles you’re running into and give suggestions to make your house’s air cleaner.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you think of pollution, you typically think of smog. But everyday items in your home can create pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.
These origins include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
- Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that runs on gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excessive moisture
- HVAC equipment
- Recently installed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Synthetic 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. Today’s homes are securely sealed for energy conservation, which is good for your heating and cooling costs but not so great when you require extra fresh air in your home.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you might develop symptoms right away or later. Your symptoms may lessen when you leave your house but get worse when you return.
Some of the most regular immediate symptoms involve:
- Irritated eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be heightened.
Repeated or long-term exposure can cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Indications of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It
Your home will also signal that its air isn’t as clean as it could be.
- Your house is very dusty, especially around the vents. It’s normal for your residence to get dusty in a week’s time, but buildup close to your air registers should be concerning. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, especially if you deal with allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help cut down on dust and other annoying pollutants.
- Your residence has hot and cold rooms. Your heating and cooling system could be having difficulty maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution problems because of your heating and cooling system or ductwork. Our A&M Heating & Cooling LLC pros can diagnose the issue and advise repairs or replacement.
- Your residence’s air feels too dry or too wet. We suggest maintaining your residence’s humidity percentage near 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat might feel itchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your home is too humid during hot temperatures, you may have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your wellness. You can take care of these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your heating and cooling system to provide balanced humidity throughout your residence.
- Your residence has lingering odors. You may detect a musty odor when you come home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not practical to open your windows 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling fresh again. It replaces musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other steps the EPA recommends doing include keeping your residence smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your HVAC unit. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and could even help them work for an extended period of time.
We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality
If you think your home has an air quality issue, give our A&M Heating & Cooling LLC HVAC pros a call at 520-200-1048 or contact us online. We’re here to talk with you about solutions and give you a free estimate.