We are often indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined the majority of people spend 90% of their day inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.
Decreased indoor air quality can have a negative influence on your health. That’s why it’s important to know the warnings of bad air quality in your house, what causes it and how to fix it.
If you want to know how you can tell if your Hattiesburg home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort pros at Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning can help. We’ll go over the issues you’re running into and offer plans to make your house’s air cleaner.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you picture pollution, you generally think of smog. But everyday things within your residence can create pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.
These starting points consist of:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
- Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that uses gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Too much moisture
- HVAC systems
- Recently installed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Man-made building materials, like furniture constructed from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be worsened by a lack of ventilation in your residence, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Modern homes are securely sealed for energy savings, which is great for your heating and cooling costs but not so fantastic when you have to have additional fresh air indoors.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you could have symptoms immediately or later on. Your symptoms may alleviate when you leave your house but get worse when you return.
Some of the most common immediate problems involve:
- Irritated eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be more severe.
Continuous or lengthy exposure can cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better
Your house will also signal that its air isn’t as clean as it should be.
- Your home is excessively dusty, particularly near the vents. It’s common for your residence to get dusty during the week, but accumulation around your air registers should be concerning. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, very much so if you have allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help cut down on dust and other annoying pollutants.
- Your home has hot and cold rooms. Your heating and cooling unit might be having difficulty maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution problems because of your HVAC unit or ductwork. Our Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning pros can diagnose the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
- Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend keeping your house’s humidity range around 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat may feel dry. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your house is too humid during hot temperatures, you could have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your wellness. You can fight these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your heating and cooling unit to provide even humidity across your house.
- Your home has odors that won’t go away. You could notice a musty odor when you come home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t go away. Since it’s not feasible to open your windows all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling pleasant again. It substitutes stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other strategies the EPA recommends taking include keeping your home smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your heating and cooling unit. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and can even help them run for an extended period of time.
We Can Help Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality
If you think your residence has air quality trouble, give our Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning HVAC specialists a call at 601-292-9763 or contact us online. We’re ready to chat with you about possibilities and give you a free estimate.