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

April 27, 2020

If you’re uncertain whether your Beckley and Mount Hope home has unhealthy indoor air quality (IAQ), it probably 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 residences may be 2–5 times more contaminated than outdoors, which can result in long-term health concerns.

Most Common Origins of Bad IAQ

We’ve put together a list of the most common sources of bad IAQ, the problems they create and how you can fix these indoor air pollutants. If you’re troubled by the air inside your residence, we suggest consulting with a expert like Appalachian Heating about which options are a good fit for your family.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are vapors leaked by regular household items.

They’re found in paint and stains along with:

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

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

Always use the manufacturer’s guidelines when painting or cleaning. Cracking a window can help odors dissipate more quickly.

Air purification systems can also make it better. This unit works with your heating and cooling system to clean indoor air. When hunting for a model, check that it’s specifically created to eliminate VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can aggravate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it constantly gets moved by your home’s HVAC equipment. While you can vacuum more routinely and get an enhanced air filter, an air filtration system could be a better fit.

This solution connects with your HVAC system to deliver mighty filtration. Some types have hospital-quality filtration for getting rid of particles and bioaerosols.

Persistent Odors

Newer homes are securely sealed to boost energy efficiency. While this is great for your utility costs, it’s not ideal for your IAQ.

Musty odors can stick around for an extended amount of time since your home is pulling in reduced fresh air. Since keeping your windows open all the time isn’t doable, here are two approaches you can make your indoor air smell better.

An air purification system is installed in your ductwork to wipe out odors before they get released again. Search for one with a carbon filter and the capability to wipe out dangerous VOCs. This equipment can also help keep your family healthy by wiping out most bacteria and common allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system removes stale indoor air and substitutes it with fresh outdoor air. There are two kinds of equipment (heat recovery and energy recovery), so call our techs for more details on which type is right for your home.

Unsteady Humidity

It’s important your home’s humidity keeps even. Air that’s too moist can cause mold, while dry air can create respiratory symptoms.

Our techs suggest 40–50% for the best comfort. To keep yours steady, think over getting a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your heating and cooling system.

Rather than having to pull a humidifier from room to room, this solution delivers balanced humidity around your residence.

Carbon Monoxide

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

It presents a severe health risk. In little concentrations, it can create flu-like ailments like headaches and nausea. It can be lethal in large levels.

We suggest yearly furnace maintenance to ensure your equipment is running properly. This service allows our technicians to find issues before they start, including malfunctions that can create carbon monoxide leaks.

The best method to keep your house free of carbon monoxide is to install detectors. These alarms need to be on every floor near bedrooms and living areas.

Improve Your Residence’s Air Quality with the Appalachian Heating Experts

Aware that your home has bad air quality but not sure how to enhance it? Or unsure which product is a good fit for you? Give our approachable HVAC experts a call at 304-707-0600 or contact us online right away. With free estimates and professional support, we’ll help you locate the ideal equipment for your family and budget.