We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined many people spend 90% of their day inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.
Poor indoor air quality can have an adverse impact on your wellness. That’s why it’s critical to identify the warnings of bad air quality in your residence, what leads to it and how to take care of it.
If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Gresham home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort professionals at Honke Heating & AC can provide assistance. We’ll go through the problems you’re running into and offer strategies to make your residence’s air better.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you think of pollution, you generally think of smog. But ordinary things in your home can lead to pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.
These sources involve:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
- Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that runs on gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excessive moisture
- HVAC units
- New flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Man-made building materials, like furniture constructed from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by not enough ventilation in your residence, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Recently built residences are securely sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your energy costs but not so great when you require additional fresh air indoors.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you may experience symptoms right away or later on. Your symptoms can alleviate when you leave home but get worse when you return.
Some of the most regular immediate symptoms include:
- Scratchy eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be heightened.
Continuous or lengthy exposure could result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Signs of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better
Your house will also signal that its air isn’t as clean as it needs to be.
- Your house is excessively dusty, particularly near the vents. It’s expected for your home to get dusty in a week’s time, but accumulation around your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, especially if you deal with allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other irritating pollutants.
- Your residence has hot and cold areas. Your HVAC system could be struggling to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity percentages. Or there could be air distribution troubles due to your home comfort unit or ductwork. Our Honke Heating & AC specialists can locate the problem and recommend repairs or replacement.
- Your home’s air seems too dry or too wet. We suggest having your house’s humidity percentage near 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat might feel itchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your house is too humid during the summer, you might have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your well-being. You can take care of these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your home comfort unit to provide appropriate humidity across your house.
- Your house has odors that stick around. You might notice a stuffy smell when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not possible to open your windows 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling pleasant again. It replaces stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other strategies the EPA advises taking include keeping your home smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your home comfort equipment. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and could even help them run longer.
We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality
If you believe your residence has an air quality problem, give our Honke Heating & AC HVAC professionals a call at 503-663-8033 or contact us online. We’re ready to talk with you about options and give you a free estimate.