We are indoors a lot. In fact, the EPA has calculated many people spend 90% of their lives within a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.
Decreased indoor air quality can have an unfavorable impact on your wellness. That’s why it’s important to recognize the warnings of bad air quality in your home, what triggers it and how to fix it.
If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Wisconsin Rapids home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling pros at Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc can help. We’ll go over the issues you’re experiencing and provide strategies to make your house’s air fresher.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you envision pollution, you generally think of smog. But common items in your house can make 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 uses gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excess moisture
- HVAC equipment
- Recently installed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Man-made building materials, such as furniture constructed from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be intensified by not enough ventilation in your residence, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Recently built houses are securely sealed for energy savings, which is good for your heating and cooling bill but not so good when you have to have extra fresh air inside.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you might experience symptoms immediately or in the future. Your symptoms may lessen when you leave home but worsen when you return.
Some of the most usual immediate issues involve:
- Irritated eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be worse.
Constant or lengthy exposure can cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Indications of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It
Your home will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as clean as it should be.
- Your residence is extremely dusty, especially around the vents. It’s expected for your house to get dusty over the week, but a lot of dust 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 deal with allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other irritating pollutants.
- Your home has hot and cold spots. Your home comfort unit may be struggling to maintain proper temperature and humidity percentages. Or there could be air distribution problems as a result of your home comfort system or ductwork. Our Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc pros can pinpoint the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
- Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend having your house’s humidity levels near 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat may feel scratchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your residence is too humid during the summer, you could have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your well-being. You can combat these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your home comfort unit to give even humidity around your home.
- Your house has odors that stick around. You might catch a musty odor when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not practical to open your windows all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling pleasant again. It replaces musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other steps the EPA advises taking include keeping your home smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your heating and cooling equipment. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and may even help them run for a longer amount of time.
We Can Help Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
If you believe your home has an air quality issue, give our Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc HVAC pros a call at 715-301-0256 or contact us online. We’re ready to chat with you about possibilities and offer a free estimate.