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

May 22, 2020

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

Decreased indoor air quality can have a negative effect on your wellness. That’s why it’s essential to identify the signs of poor air quality in your residence, what causes it and how to repair it.

If you want to know how you can tell if your Laguna Niguel home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling professionals at Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating can help. We’ll review the issues you’re running into and give strategies to make your house’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you typically think of smog. But common products in your home can lead to pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.

These starting points involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • Recently installed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Man-made building materials, including furniture made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by insufficient ventilation in your house, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Modern houses are tightly sealed for energy conservation, which is great for your utility costs but not so great when you have to have additional fresh air in your home.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you could develop symptoms now or in the future. Your symptoms could go away when you leave your house but worsen when you return.

Some of the most usual immediate issues include:

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

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

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

Other Symptoms of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It

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

  1. Your house is extremely dusty, especially around the vents. It’s common for your residence to get dusty over the week, but a lot of dust around your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, very much so 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 irritating pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold spots. Your HVAC system may be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution problems as a result of your heating and cooling system or ductwork. Our Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating pros can pinpoint the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your residence’s air appears too dry or too wet. We suggest having your house’s humidity range near 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat can feel scratchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your house is too humid during the summer, you may have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your health. You can combat these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your home comfort system to give even humidity across your residence.
  4. Your residence has odors that won’t go away. You might catch a stuffy smell when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t go away. Since it’s not practical to open your windows all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling good again. It substitutes stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other steps the EPA suggests implementing include keeping your home smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your HVAC system. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and may even help them last for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has air quality trouble, give our Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating HVAC experts a call at 949-525-9119 or contact us online. We’re here to talk with you about solutions and provide a free estimate.