June 6, 2023
Maintain Maximum Indoor Air Quality With These 3 Easy Solutions
It’s easy to be unaware of the quality of the air we breathe. Our modern world surrounds us with constant air pollution from vehicles, industry, and many other factors contaminating our air. Many people don’t realize the air we breathe indoors is often much more contaminated than outdoor air.
With people spending lots of time indoors, air quality has become an increasingly popular topic amongst homeowners. Today’s technology allows you to find the right equipment to help you achieve the cleanest and healthiest environment in your home. Maintaining indoor air quality is a task that must be on your high-priority list.
What Is Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the cleanliness of air inside your home or other structures. It directly impacts the health and comfort of a home or building’s occupants. Older adults, young children, and people who suffer from respiratory or heart conditions are most affected by poor indoor air quality.
Signs That Your Indoor Air Quality is Low
Most of us are more concerned with the quality of food and water we consume. However, the quality of the air you breathe is also crucial to consider for good health. There are several signs that experts have concluded indicate your IAQ is not up to standards. This list is extensive, but here are the main things to look for:
Most signs of poor IAQ are physical symptoms you and your family might be experiencing. Some of the most common symptoms are related to your respiratory system.
Since one of the main factors of poor IAQ is the accumulation of airborne particles inside your home, your lungs are directly affected. You may experience chest congestion, cough, a stuffy nose, and other unpleasant respiratory symptoms.
Some people have seasonal allergies related to the changing climate outdoors. Pollen and other environmental particles circulate through the air and cause allergy-related symptoms. However, if you don’t typically suffer from seasonal allergies but experience allergic episodes inside your home, your IAQ might be compromised.
Symptoms of allergic episodes relating to poor IAQ include itching of the eyes, throat, ears, or skin. Experiencing watery eyes is another sign that you may be allergic to environmental particles floating around the air.
Frequent headaches could indicate the presence of pollutants in the air, such as pesticides or cleaning products.
Fatigue or Dizziness
Your energy level and neurological state may be impacted by fumes, toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, and other contaminants circulating in your indoor air.
The skin is your largest organ and is a good indicator of overall health. If you experience rashes, redness, dryness, peeling, flaking, or other unexplained skin conditions, your air quality could be the culprit.
Mold growth on your walls, ceiling, or other places around your home indicates an IAQ issue. Mold spreads quickly and is highly harmful, so address the root cause immediately to avoid negative health consequences.
A broad range of foul smells can come from your home, depending on how well it is maintained. Odors can also develop inside a faulty HVAC system and circulate throughout your home via the air ducts.
Hot or Cold Spots
Uneven temperatures inside your home indicate your HVAC system is not working well, which can lead to poor IAQ. Call an HVAC professional for a full inspection of your system regularly to ensure it is well maintained.
If you find yourself cleaning more often than you think you should, chances are that your HVAC is not filtering airborne particles. It may be time to change your air filters or upgrade your whole HVAC system if it’s too reaching the end of its lifespan.
A final sign that your air quality is poor is high humidity levels inside your home. If you don’t have a dehumidifier and live in a tropical climate, the humidity level inside your home is likely elevated. Excess humidity leads to mold and bacteria growth. It also creates a stuffy and uncomfortable indoor environment.
How to Maintain Indoor Air Quality
Practice these three solutions inside your home to ensure the best possible IAQ:
1. Keep Your HVAC Filters Clean
Your HVAC has filters designed to catch airborne particles. Eventually, filters become full and unable to trap contaminants effectively. To ensure exceptional air quality, you must keep filters clean by following the manufacturer’s or installer’s instructions.
For most HVAC filters, it is recommended to change them every 30 to 90 days. However, you must check the model of your specific HVAC system to see exactly how often your filters need to be changed.
Clogged filters also cause your HVAC system to work harder to pump out treated air, leading to excessive wear. By keeping your filters clean, you will extend the life of your HVAC system while spending less on maintenance and repair costs. It is especially important to be aware of filter maintenance when you live in metropolitan areas that experience high levels of pollution or when you are prone to allergies.
2. Pay Attention to Your Air Ducts
Ductwork is part of your HVAC system. These pathways inside your walls circulate hot and cold air throughout your home. They help provide a comfortable environment in all the rooms connected to air vents.
When air ducts become compromised due to improper installation or lack of maintenance, they circulate airborne contaminants throughout your home. Harmful particles can travel through air ducts from one room to another, spreading dust, mold, dander, and other undesirable pollutants that impact IAQ.
Sometimes ductwork develops holes or other damage that impacts its function. As time passes, this creates inefficiency in your HVAC and puts it at risk for early failure. Schedule a duct inspection as a part of your regular HVAC maintenance to ensure your ducts don’t contribute to IAQ issues in your home.
3. Control the Humidity Inside Your Home
Ideal home humidity levels fall between 30% and 50%. This measurement means the interior air can hold between 30% and 50% of the largest amount of moisture it can contain at a particular time.
As moisture rises in the air, it creates a humid condition perfect for bacteria, mold, mildew, pests, and other contaminants to grow. It is an environment that creates an unhealthy atmosphere for humans, especially those who have allergies, asthma, and other conditions.
A well-maintain dehumidifier has the power to keep your home’s atmosphere at a safe humidity level. Additionally, you’ll experience a cool, crisp, and comfortable environment instead of a stuffy one with variable temperatures.
Professional Indoor Air Quality Services
With over 40 years of experience servicing St. Louis and the surrounding areas, Scott-Lee Heating Company continues to be a trusted company for heating, cooling, and IAQ services. We are happy to work within newly constructed homes, and if you are looking for geothermal or ductless options, we are your top choice.
Our team utilizes the latest tools in the industry to assess your IAQ, uncover underlying air quality issues, and restore HVAC systems to their maximum potential. Call Scott-Lee Heating Company today for a consultation and discover how to improve your IAQ!