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

April 27, 2020

If you’re questioning whether your Anchorage home has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it probably does.

We spend a lot of time inside. In fact, 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 may create long-term health problems.

Most Common Origins of Unsatisfactory IAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most common causes of inferior IAQ, the problems they create and how you can remedy these indoor air pollutants. If you’re worried about the air inside your home, we advise talking with a professional like Discount Mechanical Heating & Plumbing Services about which products are ideal for your home.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are vapors released by everyday household items.

They’re found in paint and stains along with:

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

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

Always adhere to the manufacturer’s directions when applying paint or spraying cleaning products. Opening a window can help fumes disperse faster.

Air purification systems can also help. This unit collaborates with your heating and cooling unit to clean indoor air. When looking for a model, check that it’s specifically created to eradicate VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can trigger health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continually gets moved by your residence’s heating and cooling system. While you can vacuum more frequently and install a better air filter, an air filtration system may be a better match.

This solution connects with your comfort unit to provide strong filtration. Some models offer hospital-level filtration for removing particles and bioaerosols.

Persistent Odors

Newer houses are closely sealed to increase energy efficiency. While this is fantastic for your energy bill, it’s not so good for your IAQ.

Stale odors can hang around for an extended amount of time since your house is drawing in less fresh air. As keeping your windows open throughout the year isn’t an option, here are two methods you can make your indoor air smell cleaner.

An air purification system is installed in your ducts to neutralize odors before they are redistributed. Search for one with a carbon filter and the power to wipe out harmful VOCs. This equipment can also help keep your loved ones healthy by eliminating most bacteria and common allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system removes stuffy indoor air and exchanges it with fresh outdoor air. There are two kinds of systems (heat recovery and energy recovery), so call our techs for more details on which type is best for your house.

Unsteady Humidity

It’s critical your house’s humidity stays balanced. Air that’s too moist can cause mold, while dry air can create respiratory concerns.

Our techs suggest 40–50% for the best comfort. To keep yours steady, think about buying a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your heating and cooling unit.

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

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is gas you can’t see or smell. It’s a byproduct of incomplete combustion in fuel-burning appliances, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.

It presents a serious health risk. In little levels, it can cause flu-like ailments like headaches and nausea. It could be lethal in large concentrations.

We suggest regular furnace maintenance to make sure your system is operating smoothly. This job allows our techs to see problems before they get bigger, including malfunctions that can cause carbon monoxide leaks.

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

Improve Your Residence’s Air Quality with the Discount Mechanical Heating & Plumbing Services Experts

Know that your home has inferior air quality but not sure how to make it better? Or unsure which option is ideal for you? Give our friendly HVAC experts a call at 907-202-9798 or contact us online today. With free estimates and expert support, we’ll help you find the right option for your family and budget.