Are you concerned about the air quality in your home? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Since we spend so much time indoors, it’s important to make sure that the air we breathe is clean and healthy. Poor indoor air quality can have negative effects on our health, comfort, and even our wallets.
Let’s discuss six signs that indicate your home’s indoor air quality may need some attention. By recognizing these signs, you can take steps to improve the air in your home and ensure a healthier living environment for you and your loved ones. If you notice any of these signs, know that Ambient Edge can help.
1. HVAC Inefficiency
Most newer air conditioning units bear Energy Star labels indicating that they meet or exceed government standards for energy efficiency. The corresponding Energy Guide labels on each unit reveal details about the models’ energy efficiency, along with estimated costs for heating and cooling a home. If your air conditioner tends to exceed these standards or fluctuates wildly, the model might not have the capacity to perform properly.
Inefficient HVAC systems can quickly contribute to indoor air quality problems, since they may not be able to filter particles from the air, keep the humidity at a comfortable level, or maintain a consistent moderate temperature.
Replacing Your Unit
If your HVAC system is more than 10 years old, consider using our services to replace it with a new unit engineered to work efficiently and handle all of your air quality issues. If the system is newer, consider having the unit professionally maintained in order to make sure fluid levels are correct, performance isn’t compromised, and all parts are working properly.
Duct Cleaning and Inspection
Since leaky or blocked ductwork can lead to serious efficiency problems, you can also consider having your ducts cleaned and inspected for cracks, leaks, and insufficient insulation. A professional HVAC technician can give your home’s ducts the attention they need to improve the system’s overall efficiency.
2. Humidity Issues
Humidity levels that are too high or too low cause more than just discomfort or overheating. You’ll know that your home suffers from low humidity when you experience extreme or constant static electricity, dried-out indoor plants, and peeling wallpaper. This state can also lead to health problems like increased risk of colds and infections, dry skin, and itchy eyes.
Though low humidity is a more common problem for Henderson-area homeowners, high humidity can be an issue, too. After all, excess moisture indoors can cause mold to grow and can encourage dust mites and other allergens to thrive.
Fighting High Humidity
To combat a minor case of high humidity, use exhaust fans to push warm, moist air outside or install ceiling fans to help circulate the air. For minor problems with low humidity, invest in some houseplants and keep them watered, or use a fan to move warm, humid air through your home after showering or washing dishes.
For larger humidity problems, consider installing a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, both of which ensure that the humidity in your home stays at a healthy level. Since both of these units work in conjunction with your home’s HVAC system, you can rest assured that they won’t over- or under-humidify your home like standalone units can.
3. Excessive Dust
When you start a big remodeling project in your home, you might expect to see more dust than normal. Without a major contributor like construction, though, large amounts of dust shouldn’t have the opportunity to accumulate on surfaces or continually travel in the air. Excessive dust can attract dust mites, a common cause of allergies.
Excessive dust is a sign that your HVAC system isn’t trapping particles in the air properly. If you haven’t changed the system’s air filter in the last month, replace it with a new one. Since filters can easily get clogged with dust, it’s important to change them at least every two to three months, or more frequently if you run the air conditioner constantly.
For a larger dust problem, consider installing a whole-house filter, which boosts your HVAC system’s filtration capabilities a notch or two. Whole-house filters are passive, so they don’t use additional power, but they do trap dust particles and other airborne particles as they circulate through the air.
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4. Uneven Temperatures
In the Henderson area, it’s often necessary to keep the air conditioner running through November, since warm temperatures typically continue through the fall and late season heat waves happen when you least expect them. Instead of enjoying a consistently cool home, though, many Nevada homeowners find uneven temperatures from room to room. If you’ve ever noticed that some rooms in your home stay warm while others cool down easily, the cool air from your air conditioner may not be reaching each room equally.
Since this can lead to air circulation problems and indoor air quality issues, it’s not a sign you want to ignore. If you haven’t had regular air conditioner maintenance recently, start by scheduling a checkup. If the air conditioner itself isn’t the problem, consider changing to a zoning system, which effectively divides your home into sections that are cooled and heated separately.
Many HVAC systems can be adapted to accommodate zoning systems, which can ensure that each zone receives cool air as necessary without overcooling rooms that are already at the right temperature.
5. Stale Odors
If you’ve lived in your house for long, chances are it has a familiar scent that makes you feel right at home. When that odor starts to go sour, however, it’s time to pay attention to what your house is telling you. Unpleasant smells that don’t seem to go away signal that your home doesn’t have adequate ventilation.
Most homes are designed to cycle stale air out while drawing fresh air in, but modifications to your home’s building envelope or HVAC system can cause a carefully balanced ventilation system to go haywire. Before you take any major steps to fix the situation, take note of how odors move through your home. If they remain strong for an extended period of time in an isolated area, your home’s HVAC system warrants a closer look.
When your home has poor air circulation, resist throwing open the window, as you might just draw in outdoor pollutants. Instead, try turning on a ceiling fan to start air movement. If that doesn’t have the desired effect, consider installing a ventilation system that works with your existing HVAC system. Heat recovery ventilators work to push old air out and bring new air in, and they have the added benefit of moving unwanted heat and humidity out of your home’s air circulation.
6. Respiratory Conditions
Not all indoor air quality problems are apparent in your home environment. In fact, sometimes you might not realize there’s an issue until your health starts to suffer. Bad indoor air can lead to a whole host of bad respiratory health symptoms, including:
- Chronic coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Asthma symptoms
- Flu symptoms
If left untreated, some of these health symptoms can develop into even more serious health problems like nosebleeds, breathing difficulties, asthma attacks, respiratory disease, and even lung disease. When you notice the first sign of a chronic respiratory problem, it’s important to question the quality of the air in your living spaces right away.
Air purifiers do wonders with air purification and removing allergens. While these appliances won’t pull all of the allergens from the air, most air purifiers will trap biological pollutants like pet dander, pollen, mold, dust, and other irritating airborne particles of a similar size before you can inhale them.
Keep in mind that in addition to airborne allergens, excessive carbon monoxide in your home’s air can also lead to major health problems and even death. Don’t let this invisible, odorless gas cause serious harm to you and your family. Simply install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home, and the device will alert you to unsafe levels of the gas in your indoor space.
The Importance of Maintaining Indoor Air Quality
Clean air is essential for our overall health and well-being. We often associate pollution with outdoor environments, but did you know that the air inside our homes can also be filled with contaminants? Maintaining good indoor air quality is crucial for a variety of reasons.
Positive Health Effects
Firstly, poor indoor air quality can have a significant impact on our health. Breathing in indoor air pollutants such as dust, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and even chemicals from household products can trigger health issues like allergies, asthma attacks, and other respiratory issues. Long-term exposure to these indoor air pollutants may also increase the risk of developing chronic health conditions.
Maintaining a Comfortable Living Environment
Secondly, the comfort of our homes is greatly affected by the quality of air we breathe. Have you ever noticed a stale or musty smell in your house? This could be a sign of poor air quality. Proper ventilation and filtration systems can help eliminate unpleasant odors, improve airflow, and create a more pleasant and comfortable living environment.
Lastly, addressing indoor air quality problems can also save you money in the long run. When air filters become clogged with dust and debris, your HVAC system has to work harder to circulate air, leading to higher energy bills. Regularly maintaining your air filters and ensuring proper ventilation can help optimize your HVAC system’s efficiency and reduce energy costs.
Overall, maintaining good indoor air quality is essential for our health, comfort, and financial well-being. By recognizing the signs of poor air quality and taking proactive steps to improve it, we can create a healthier and more enjoyable living environment for ourselves and our loved ones.
Top Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality
Improving the indoor air quality in your home is crucial for maintaining a healthy and comfortable living environment. Luckily, there are several simple steps you can take to improve the air you breathe.
- Proper ventilation: Open windows regularly to allow fresh air to circulate and stale air to escape. You can also consider installing ventilation fans in areas prone to high moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
- Regular HVAC maintenance: Change your air filters every three months or as recommended by the manufacturer. Additionally, consider investing in a high-efficiency air filter that can capture smaller dust pieces, harmful particles, and allergens.
- Reduce indoor air pollutants: Avoid smoking indoors and minimize the use of chemical-based cleaning products. Opt for natural cleaning solutions instead. Keep your home clean and dust-free by regularly vacuuming and mopping floors, and using microfiber cloths to wipe surfaces.
- Controlling humidity levels: Use dehumidifiers in damp areas and ensure proper ventilation to prevent the mold growth and dust mites. In dry environments, consider using humidifiers to maintain optimal humidity levels.
- Adding houseplants: Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, improving the air quality naturally. Choose plants such as peace lilies, snake plants, or Boston ferns, known for their air-purifying properties.
By implementing these tips, you can significantly improve your home’s indoor air quality and create a healthier and more comfortable living environment for you and your loved ones. Remember, small changes can make a big difference when it comes to the air you breathe!
Call Ambient Edge to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
We’ve discussed six signs that indicate your indoor space’s indoor air quality may need some attention. By recognizing these signs, you can take proactive steps to improve the air in your home and ensure a healthier living environment for you and your loved ones.
Remember, small changes can make a big difference when it comes to reducing indoor air pollutants. So schedule an appointment with Ambient Edge today and prioritize the quality of your indoor air for a happier and healthier environment.