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

April 27, 2020

If you’re unsure whether your Brandon home has unhealthy indoor air quality (IAQ), it likely does.

We are indoors a lot. In fact, we’re indoors up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside residences can be 2–5 times more polluted than outdoors, which can create long-term health issues.

Most Common Sources of Bad IAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most common sources of inferior IAQ, the troubles they create and how you can fix these indoor air pollutants. If you’re troubled by the air inside your house, we recommend chatting with a professional like Brandon Heating and Plumbing about which solutions are a good fit for your house.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals emitted from regular household items.

They’re found in paint and stains as well as:

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

When these chemicals accumulate indoors, they can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They can also create headaches and nausea. Regardless of whether your house is in a rural or industrial space, an EPA study found indoor levels of these pollutants can be 2–5 times worse than the air outdoors.

Always use the manufacturer’s directions when applying paint or spraying cleaning products. Opening a window can help odors dissipate more quickly.

Air purification systems can also improve your air. This unit partners with your heating and cooling equipment to clean indoor air. When hunting for a model, check that it’s specifically designed to wipe out VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can irritate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continuously gets redistributed by your house’s heating and cooling system. While you can vacuum more frequently and get an improved air filter, an air filtration system might be a better solution.

This unit hooks to your heating and cooling unit to provide strong filtration. Some types provide hospital-grade filtration for eliminating particles and bioaerosols.

Lasting Odors

New residences are closely sealed to boost energy efficiency. While this is good for your energy expenses, it’s not so good for your IAQ.

Musty odors can stay around for a greater amount of time because your residence is drawing in reduced fresh air. Because keeping your windows open throughout the year isn’t an option, here are two ways you can make your indoor air smell cleaner.

An air purification system is placed in your ducts to eliminate odors before they get released again. Search for one with a carbon filter and the power to eliminate damaging VOCs. This equipment can also help keep your household healthy by wiping out most bacteria and ordinary allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system takes out musty indoor air and exchanges it with fresh outdoor air. There are two kinds of units (heat recovery and energy recovery), so check with our technicians for more info on which type is ideal for your residence.

Uneven Humidity

It’s important your residence’s humidity stays balanced. Air that’s too humid can create mold, while dry air can cause respiratory symptoms.

Our experts suggest 40–50% for top comfort. To keep yours in balance, consider buying a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your comfort system.

Rather than having to lug a humidifier from room to room, this product gives even humidity throughout your residence.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is gas you can’t see or smell. It occurs when there’s incomplete combustion in fuel-burning units, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.

It poses a severe health risk. In small levels, it can lead to flu-like ailments like headaches and nausea. It could be fatal in large concentrations.

We suggest yearly furnace maintenance to double-check your unit is working smoothly. This work allows our techs to discover issues before they start, including malfunctions that can create carbon monoxide leaks.

The best approach to keep your house free of carbon monoxide is to install detectors. These alarms should be on all floors by bedrooms and living areas.

Better Your Home’s Air Quality with the Brandon Heating and Plumbing Pros

Aware that your residence has poor air quality but not sure how to make it better? Or unsure which product is ideal for you? Give our approachable HVAC specialists a call at 204-728-0180 or contact us online today. With free estimates and expert support, we’ll help you choose the best solution for your home and budget.