We spend most of our time at home, but how often do you think about the quality of the air around you? Indoor air quality is extremely important for the health and comfort of everyone in your household. Unfortunately, poor indoor air quality can go unnoticed as you search for other solutions to the symptoms you’re experiencing. Here are four warning signs of poor indoor air quality that everyone should know.
1. Health Effects
If you or a member of your family has been suffering from cold or flu symptoms that come and go, it may be time to consider whether air quality is to blame.
Exposure to dust, pet dander, pollen, and other contaminants in the air can aggravate allergies and cause sinus irritation, leading to intermittent bouts of coughs, sneezes, and sore throats.
Poor indoor air quality is especially detrimental for people with existing respiratory conditions such as asthma or COPD. Long-term exposure to airborne contaminants can cause more frequent allergy flare-ups and make it difficult for those with respiratory sensitivity to live comfortably.
Humidity is an important part of air quality. Air that is too dry may cause a problem that can affect anyone: dry, irritated skin. Certain conditions in your indoor air can trigger rashes, hives, and acne. Extended exposure to some airborne pollutants can accelerate the appearance of aging by causing wrinkles and spots to appear more quickly.
2. Excessive Dust
It’s virtually impossible to keep your home completely free of dust. However, an excessive level of dust buildup on the surfaces in your home could point to an air quality issue. If you feel like you have to dust and vacuum your home more often than you should need to, a few HVAC maintenance tasks could help to bring dust down to a manageable level.
Your HVAC system’s most important defense against dust is the furnace filter. If you clean or change the furnace filter on a bi-monthly basis, you can see a significant reduction in the dust in your home’s air. You may also consider upgrading to a high-efficiency pleated or electrostatic filter to enhance your system’s ability to keep dust out of the air.
3. Hot and Cold Spots
If you aren’t comfortable in every room of your home, your HVAC system isn’t doing its job correctly. The key thing to understand about temperature differences in your home is that they usually are the result of airflow disruption. Rooms that are stubbornly difficult to heat or cool likely aren’t receiving the airflow they need, and stagnant air is almost always a recipe for poor air quality.
Your vent registers are the first thing to check if your home has trouble with hot and cold spots. Make sure all registers are open and aren’t blocked by furniture, rugs, curtains, or other obstructions. The next most likely cause is a blockage or leak in the branch of ductwork that serves the affected room. An HVAC technician can inspect your ducts for hidden airflow bottlenecks that could be detrimental to air quality.
4. Environmental Factors
Homes are not generally airtight, so indoor air quality is largely dependent on the outdoor air where you live. If you are near a factory, power plant, or other structure that produces high emissions, you may have to work harder on indoor air quality. Even temporary changes like nearby construction can cause a noticeable dip in air quality that you may want to counteract by keeping windows closed or installing a stronger furnace filter.
When you understand the effects of poor indoor air quality, it’s much easier to recognize and resolve it in your home. Keep an eye out for these subtle signs so you can breathe easy, and call Carrano Air HVAC Contractors, Inc, so we can help you boost the air quality in your home!