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

April 27, 2020

If you’re questioning whether your Ballwin and St. Charles home has bad indoor air quality (IAQ), it likely does.

We spend a lot of time inside. In reality, we’re in a building 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 problems.

Most Common Causes of Bad IAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most frequent origins of poor IAQ, the problems they create and how you can fix these indoor air pollutants. If you’re worried about the air inside your house, we advise consulting with a specialist like Air Alliance Team about which options are best for your house.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are vapors emitted from everyday 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 inside, they might 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 space, an EPA study found indoor levels of these fumes can be 2–5 times greater than the air outside.

Always use the manufacturer’s instructions when applying paint or spraying cleaning products. Cracking a window can help fumes disperse faster.

Air purification systems can also help. This unit partners with your heating and cooling system to improve indoor air. When seeking a model, make sure it’s specifically designed to eliminate VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can trigger health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continually gets redistributed by your house’s heating and cooling system. While you can vacuum more frequently and get an enhanced air filter, an air filtration system could be a better fit.

This unit hooks to your heating and cooling unit to provide strong filtration. Some types have hospital-quality filtration for getting rid of particles and bioaerosols.

Lasting Odors

New houses are closely sealed to increase energy efficiency. While this is great for your utility costs, it’s not very good for your IAQ.

Musty odors can stick around for a greater amount of time because your house is drawing in less fresh air. Since keeping your windows open all the time isn’t a possibility, here are two approaches you can make your indoor air smell cleaner.

An air purification system is put in your ducts to neutralize odors before they recirculate. Search for one with a carbon filter and the ability to break down dangerous VOCs. This equipment can also help keep your household healthy by getting rid of most bacteria and ordinary allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system takes out stuffy indoor air and replaces it with clean outdoor air. There are two kinds of systems (heat recovery and energy recovery), so ask our technicians for more info on which kind is best for your residence.

Unsteady Humidity

It’s important your residence’s humidity keeps steady. Air that’s too humid can lead to mold, while dry air can cause respiratory issues.

Our techs advise 40–50% for top comfort. To keep yours steady, consider installing a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your HVAC unit.

Instead of having to lug a humidifier from room to room, this product gives balanced humidity across your house.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is colorless gas you can’t smell. It’s caused by unfinished combustion in fuel-burning equipment, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.

It creates a severe health risk. In low levels, it can lead to flu-like symptoms like headaches and nausea. It may be lethal in heavy amounts.

We advise annual furnace maintenance to double-check your equipment is running properly. This work allows our specialists to see troubles before they begin, including malfunctions that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks.

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

Enhance Your House’s Air Quality with the Air Alliance Team Experts

Informed that your residence has inferior air quality but not sure how to make it better? Or unsure which product is ideal for you? Give our approachable HVAC specialists a call at 636-206-4250 or contact us online today. With free estimates and professional support, we’ll help you find the right equipment for your home and budget.