10 Signs of Poor Air Quality in the Home — and How to Fix It
Outdoor air pollution is an issue that most people know about, but bad indoor air quality is an overlooked issue that can worsen existing health issues — or lead to new ones. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we spend around 90% of our time indoors, and maintaining good indoor air quality depends on understanding what worsens it — and how to improve it.
Sources of Indoor Pollution
The air in your home contains two main types of pollutants: Gasses and particles.
Sources of gaseous contaminants include combustion appliances like the stove and furnace. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are harmful pollutants that off-gas from household cleaners, building materials, and synthetic textiles. Radon and carbon monoxide are the most dangerous gaseous contaminants that may be lurking in your home.
Particulate pollution includes pollen, mold spores, dust, and dust mites. These can enter your home through open doors and windows, and you — and your pets — can track them inside on the soles of your shoes (or paws.) Particles like mold spores can result from high home humidity or
Top 10 Signs of Bad Indoor Air Quality
In many cases, you can’t see indoor air pollution — but you may be able to feel it or smell it. Here are some signs you may need to have your air tested and take steps to increase the air quality in your home:
- Worsened allergy symptoms, including sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, or skin irritation
- Worsened asthma symptoms — or increasing difficulty controlling asthma with medication
- Respiratory issues like coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Headaches or dizziness
- Unpleasant musty odors or strong chemical smells
- Visible condensation on your windows or walls
- Increased floating air particles and dust accumulation
- Frequent illnesses or infections
- Any physical symptoms you experience in the house disappear when you’re away from home
How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Improving indoor air quality requires a three-pronged approach: controlling them at the source, improving ventilation, and cleaning the air.
Control Pollutants at the Source
Preventing particles and gasses from entering your home is your first and best defense against indoor air pollution.
- Use low-VOC paints and cleaning products.
- Avoid smoking or vaping indoors.
- Schedule annual preventive maintenance for your combustion appliances, like your gas stove, furnace, and water heater.
- Keep your home’s humidity level between 30 and 50 percent.
- Keep your doors and windows closed on windy days to keep allergens like pollen out.
- Wipe your feet (and your pets’ paws) before entering the house.
Proper ventilation is a major factor in improving the quality of your home’s air. In addition to a whole-house ventilation system that provides continuous fresh air exchange, you can do a few things to improve the ventilation in your house.
- Turn on the exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom when you’re cooking, bathing, or using personal care or cleaning products.
- Check your HVAC air filter every month, and replace it when it’s covered in dust and grime to ensure proper airflow throughout your rooms.
- Open doors and windows when you can to let in fresh outdoor air.
- Run your air conditioner or furnace — or turn on the fan — when your home feels too humid or your seasonal allergies are acting up.
Clean the Air
While the air filters in your furnace and air conditioner trap many particles, a portable or whole-house air cleaner can further reduce air pollution in your home and reduce health risks.
- Portable air purifiers can trap more, smaller particles, including dust, pollen, mold spores, and even some bacteria.
- A HEPA filtration system that’s built into your HVAC equipment removes more air pollutants than portable systems.
- A UV air cleaner built into your HVAC system biological contaminants like bacteria, viruses, mold, and pollen.
Amarillo Air Conditioning offers a variety of services to help remedy poor air quality in your home, from preventive A/C maintenance and duct cleaning to whole-house air cleaners, dehumidifiers, and ventilation systems. Contact us today for a free consultation so you can breathe easy again.
CONTACT Amarillo Air Conditioning, Inc.
Our installation technicians are the best in skill, attitude and workmanship. They will care for your home and complete the job with speed and precision. They will not wear shoes on your carpets. They will clean up when they are finished and take personal responsibility for your satisfaction. They will not smoke or swear in your home and they are drug-free. If, when they have finished in your home, they have not performed in accordance with these high standards, we won't consider the job done until you are satisfied with the results.