Signs Your House 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 indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.

Decreased indoor air quality can have a negative effect on your health. That’s why it’s essential to know the signs of bad air quality in your home, what causes it and how to repair it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your St. Louis home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling pros at Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating can provide assistance. We’ll review the troubles you’re running into and provide strategies to make your house’s air better.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you picture pollution, you typically think of smog. But ordinary items within your house can cause pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.

These starting points involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
  • Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Too much moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • New flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, such as furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be worsened by a lack of ventilation in your residence, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Today’s homes are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your utility bill but not so great when you need additional fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you could experience symptoms right away or later on. Your symptoms may lessen when you leave your house but come back when you return.

Some of the most usual immediate issues include:

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

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

Repeated or prolonged exposure could result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

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

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

  1. Your home is very dusty, especially by the vents. It’s normal for your house to get dusty over the week, but buildup near your air registers should be troubling. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, especially if you have allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your residence has hot and cold spots. Your home comfort unit may be struggling to maintain proper temperature and humidity amounts. Or there may be air distribution problems because of your heating and cooling system or ductwork. Our Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating pros can pinpoint the problem and advise repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air seems too dry or too wet. We suggest keeping your home’s humidity range around 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat could feel itchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your home is too humid during warm weather, you may have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your wellness. You can combat these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your home comfort equipment to give balanced humidity throughout your house.
  4. Your home has lingering odors. You could notice a musty odor when you come home. Or a cooking scent that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not possible to have your windows open all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling good again. It substitutes musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA advises implementing include keeping your residence smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your heating and cooling unit. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and may even help them last for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you think your house has an air quality issue, give our Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating HVAC professionals a call at 314-262-4541 or contact us online. We’re ready to chat with you about possibilities and provide a free estimate.