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

April 27, 2020

If you’re uncertain whether your McHenry residence has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it likely does.

We are indoors a lot. 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 homes can be 2–5 times more contaminated than outdoors, which may lead to long-term health problems.

Most Common Sources of Unsatisfactory IAQ

We’ve put together a list of the most common causes of poor IAQ, the problems they make and how you can take care of these indoor air pollutants. If you’re concerned about the air inside your house, we advise chatting with a professional like Jett's Heating & Air Inc. about which products are a good fit for your family.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are fumes emitted from everyday household things.

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

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

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

Always use the manufacturer’s directions when using paint or cleaning supplies. Unlatching a window can help fumes dissipate faster.

Air purification systems can also improve your air. This unit partners with your heating and cooling equipment to improve indoor air. When seeking a system, 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 residence’s HVAC equipment. While you can vacuum more routinely and buy an enhanced air filter, an air filtration system could be a better match.

This equipment connects with your comfort system to deliver mighty filtration. Some kinds have hospital-quality filtration for removing particles and bioaerosols.

Lingering Odors

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

Stuffy odors can hang around longer since your residence is drawing in reduced fresh air. Because keeping your windows open all the time isn’t an option, here are two ways you can make your indoor air smell fresher.

An air purification system is installed in your HVAC system to eliminate odors before they get released again. Find one with a carbon filter and the capability to break down dangerous VOCs. These units can also help keep your household healthy by eliminating most bacteria and ordinary allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system pulls out musty indoor air and replaces it with clean outdoor air. There are two kinds of units (heat recovery and energy recovery), so call our techs for more details on which kind is best for your residence.

Unsteady Humidity

It’s critical your residence’s humidity remains even. Air that’s too moist can cause mold, while dry air can lead to respiratory concerns.

Our pros advise 40–50% for ideal comfort. To keep yours steady, think about buying a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your comfort unit.

Instead of having to pull a humidifier from room to room, this product provides balanced humidity around your home.

Carbon Monoxide

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

It produces a serious health risk. In low levels, it can cause flu-like ailments like headaches and nausea. It can be deadly in big amounts.

We recommend annual furnace maintenance to double-check your equipment is operating smoothly. This service allows our professionals to pinpoint problems before they get bigger, including malfunctions that can cause carbon monoxide leaks.

The best method to keep your home free of carbon monoxide is to put in detectors. These alarms should be on each floor by bedrooms and living spaces.

Better Your Residence’s Air Quality with the Jett's Heating & Air Inc. Professionals

Informed that your home has bad air quality but not sure how to enhance it? Or unsure which solution is a good fit for you? Give our approachable HVAC pros a call at 815-410-1128 or contact us online now. With free estimates and expert assistance, we’ll help you find the right option for your needs and budget.