Watch for These 4 Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality

If your home’s air quality is low, your family members could experience asthma or allergy symptoms. You may also notice bad smells, additional dust and high utility bills. You should watch out for these common causes of poor indoor air quality in your Merritt Island, Florida, home:

A Dirty Air Filter

Your heater and air conditioner’s air filter catches pollutants. As a result, it keeps your ductwork and the rest of your HVAC system from spreading them around your home. A dirty air filter can send dirt, dust and other substances around your home. Along with poor indoor air quality, it can cause dirty ductwork and higher utility bills. A dirty filter reduces airflow through your ducts as well. This forces your system’s fan to work harder. As a result, it increases wear and tear, shortens its life and makes inconvenient, costly breakdowns more likely.

You should change your air filter every three months and get your HVAC system inspected by an expert at least once per year. You should also dust and vacuum regularly and have your ducts cleaned every few years. That way, you can keep your indoor air quality high and make sure that your HVAC system works efficiently for as long as possible.

Poor Insulation or Ventilation

Leaks or gaps in your home’s insulation from pests or wear can let dust, dirt, car exhaust and other contaminants into your home. It can also waste energy and expose you and your family members to annoying noises or uncomfortable warm spots or drafts. Adding new or replacing damaged insulation will increase the value of your home and help you prevent these problems.

Most modern homes have excellent insulation. But it could trap excess moisture, smoke from cooking, and other pollutants inside your home. Along with good insulation, you should have plenty of ventilation. An energy recovery ventilator operates like a heat pump to conserve power while removing contaminants and stale air. That way, you can enjoy the benefits of opening a window for fresh air without wasting energy.

Pet Dander

Pet dander is the small pieces of dead skin shed by cats and dogs. It can stick to furniture, clothing, carpeting or bedding, and it can cause allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, headaches or sore throats.

Use an air purifier and ask friends with pets to wash their hands and remove their shoes before they enter your home. Look for a pet for yourself that doesn’t produce much dander. Some dogs and cats are bred for low dander levels. Hamsters barely shed any dander.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Many commercial air fresheners, paints, glues, cleaners and other products contain volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and acetone. These substances evaporate at room temperature. They can cause dizziness, fatigue, headaches and many other issues. Ventilation can help remove VOCs from your indoor air, and you can reduce them by using natural alternatives instead.

Baking soda and water make an excellent cleaner, and you can use olive oil and lemon juice instead of furniture polish. To make your home smell great, use essential oils or potpourri. You can also bake some cookies or simmer some cinnamon sticks on your stove. Choose nontoxic or child-safe paints or finishes whenever possible, and keep fuel, pesticides, and similar items in a separate garage or storage shed.

Merritt Island Air & Heat is a Trane Comfort Specialist with decades of HVAC and indoor air quality experience. We can help you keep your home healthy and comfortable. For assistance from our expert, friendly service technicians, call us anytime at (321) 392-6564.

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