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

April 27, 2020

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

We spend much of our time indoors. In fact, we’re indoors 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 create long-term health concerns.

Most Common Sources of Unsatisfactory IAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most ordinary sources of bad IAQ, the troubles they create and how you can remedy these indoor air pollutants. If you’re concerned about the air inside your residence, we advise chatting with a specialist like Osceola Air, LLC about which solutions are best for your family.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are fumes leaked by regular household products.

They’re found in paint and stains along with:

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

When these fumes build up in your home, they can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They can also lead to headaches and nausea. Regardless of whether your residence is in a rural or industrial space, an EPA study found indoor levels of these pollutants can be 2–5 times greater than the air outdoors.

Always follow the manufacturer’s directions when using paint or cleaning supplies. Cracking a window can help vapors disappear more rapidly.

Air purification systems can also help. This unit collaborates with your heating and cooling equipment to improve indoor air. When hunting for a system, ensure it’s specifically made to eliminate VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can aggravate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continuously gets moved by your residence’s HVAC system. While you can vacuum more routinely and get an improved air filter, an air filtration system might be a better match.

This solution connects with your comfort system to provide mighty filtration. Some types provide hospital-grade filtration for removing particles and bioaerosols.

Persistent Odors

Modern homes are tightly sealed to enhance energy efficiency. While this is great for your heating and cooling bill, it’s not very good for your IAQ.

Stale odors can hang around for an extended amount of time as your home is taking in a smaller amount of fresh air. Since keeping your windows open throughout the year isn’t a possibility, here are two approaches you can make your indoor air smell better.

An air purification system is placed in your ductwork to neutralize odors before they are redistributed. Search for one with a carbon filter and the capability to wipe out damaging VOCs. This equipment can also help keep your family healthy by wiping out most bacteria and normal allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system removes musty indoor air and replaces it with fresh outdoor air. There are two types of equipment (heat recovery and energy recovery), so check with our techs for more details on which kind is ideal for your residence.

Uneven Humidity

It’s important your house’s humidity remains even. Air that has too much moisture can cause mold, while dry air can cause respiratory concerns.

Our pros recommend 40–50% for top comfort. To keep yours even, think over buying a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your HVAC system.

Rather than having to lug a humidifier from room to room, this equipment gives consistent humidity across your residence.

Carbon Monoxide

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

It presents a severe health risk. In little concentrations, it can cause flu-like symptoms like headaches and nausea. It could be lethal in large concentrations.

We recommend yearly furnace maintenance to make sure your unit is running smoothly. This service allows our pros to find troubles before they begin, including malfunctions that can create carbon monoxide leaks.

The best approach to keep your home free of carbon monoxide is to install detectors. These alarms must be on each floor by bedrooms and living spaces.

Better Your Home’s Air Quality with the Osceola Air, LLC Experts

Aware that your home has inferior air quality but not sure how to make it better? Or unsure which solution is right for you? Give our approachable HVAC professionals a call at 407-477-6319 or contact us online right away. With free estimates and expert support, we’ll help you choose the right equipment for your family and budget.