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

April 27, 2020

If you’re uncertain whether your Norton residence has unhealthy indoor air quality (IAQ), it likely does.

We spend much of our time indoors. As a matter of fact, we’re inside up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside houses can be 2–5 times worse than outdoors, which could create long-term health issues.

Most Common Sources of Unsatisfactory IAQ

We’ve put together a list of the most frequent origins of bad IAQ, the troubles they create and how you can remedy these indoor air pollutants. If you’re troubled by the air inside your residence, we suggest consulting with a specialist like HCE Systems Inc about which solutions are ideal for your home.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals released by common household items.

They’re found in paint and stains in addition to:

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

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

Always follow the manufacturer’s directions when applying paint or spraying cleaning products. Opening a window can help chemicals dissipate faster.

Air purification systems can also make it better. This system works with your heating and cooling system to clean indoor air. When seeking one, make sure it’s specifically made to wipe out VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can trigger health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continuously gets recirculated by your house’s HVAC system. While you can vacuum more frequently and install an enhanced air filter, an air filtration system may be a better match.

This unit works with your heating and cooling system to provide strong filtration. Some models have hospital-level filtration for removing particles and bioaerosols.

Lasting Odors

Modern homes are securely sealed to enhance energy efficiency. While this is great for your heating and cooling bill, it’s not so good for your IAQ.

Stale odors can hang around for a greater amount of time as your home is pulling in a smaller amount of fresh air. Since keeping your windows open all the time isn’t an option, here are two ways you can make your indoor air smell better.

An air purification system is put in your ductwork to wipe out odors before they recirculate. Find one with a carbon filter and the ability to break down harmful VOCs. These units can also help keep your family healthy by wiping out most bacteria and common allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system takes out stuffy indoor air and exchanges it with crisp outdoor air. There are two types of equipment (heat recovery and energy recovery), so ask our technicians for more information on which kind is right for your house.

Uneven Humidity

It’s essential your house’s humidity remains balanced. Air that has too much moisture can lead to mold, while dry air can lead to respiratory troubles.

Our technicians recommend 40–50% for the best comfort. To keep yours in balance, think about buying a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your heating and cooling system.

In place of having to drag a humidifier from room to room, this equipment delivers consistent humidity throughout your home.

Carbon Monoxide

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

It produces a severe health risk. In small levels, it can create flu-like symptoms like headaches and nausea. It can be fatal in heavy concentrations.

We suggest annual furnace maintenance to make sure your system is running properly. This service allows our professionals to spot issues before they begin, including malfunctions that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks.

The best approach to keep your house free of carbon monoxide is to put in detectors. These alarms need to be on each floor near bedrooms and living areas.

Improve Your House’s Air Quality with the HCE Systems Inc Specialists

Informed that your residence has bad air quality but not sure how to make it better? Or unsure which solution is best for you? Give our friendly HVAC pros a call at 276-302-0076 or contact us online today. With free estimates and pro assistance, we’ll help you locate the right solution for your needs and budget.