When you picture a home with a fully functioning HVAC system, we’re almost certain you have an image of a lovely, clean home in your mind, filled with the gentle cooling breeze of a great air conditioning system. There is no dust, the air is pure and fresh, and everyone living in the home can breathe easy. While this is a lovely picture, indoor air quality issues can sometimes come between fantasy and reality. Even with a great HVAC system, indoor pollution can cause problems, leaving your home more dusty than you’d like, and sometime causing health problems for those living in the home.
Having great air quality doesn’t have to take a lot of effort, but first you need to be able to determine whether or not you have an existing air quality issue. Here are some quick ways to determine whether or not you may have an air quality problem on your hands.
1. Breathing Easy at Home?
One of the quickest ways to determine whether or not your home may have an air quality problem is to check in with how you’re breathing while in the house. If you or other family members are constantly experiencing stuffy noses, are coughing a lot, or are having other allergy-like symptoms, then there’s a decent chance that you are experiencing an air quality issue.
Another indicator of poor air quality is reoccurring headaches that have no other known cause. In a nutshell, if you feel fine before you get home, and start feeling bad once you’re in the house, there may be a problem. A quick fix might be to check your filters to make sure they’re clean, as well as opening some windows to get some fresh air inside. But if the problem continues, a professional may be able to help you pinpoint the problem.
2. Are Your Filters Dirty?
Another easy way to gauge your air quality? Check those filters! If you are finding that your filters are becoming clogged quickly, and you don’t own a lot of pets, there could definitely be a problem. More than likely there is either an issue with the ductwork not being sealed properly, or perhaps a buildup of dust and dirt over the years in your HVAC system. Without cleaning, the dirt can just start to accumulate and blow all over you home through the air conditioning system. A DIY solution is to change your filters on a regular basis, and do a really good cleaning of your vents to get rid of some of the dust and dirt. If things are really bad, a professional can come clean out your ducts, leaving your whole system fresh and clean.
3. How Often Are You Dusting?
If you find yourself dusting more than usual, that’s another indicator of an air quality issue. As mentioned above, a dirty HVAC system can lead to dust, dirt, and other air pollutants being spread around your house. If you are finding a lot of extra debris around your house, it may be time for a filter change and a good vent cleaning. If the problem continues, professional cleaning may help, or you may want to consider investing in an air purifier to help remove extra pollution from your home – this option may be especially good for those living in rural areas or on dirt roads.
4. Invest in a Monitor
For those who really want to know everything that’s in the air of their home, it may be worthwhile to invest in an air quality monitor. All homes should contain monitors for smoke and carbon monoxide – if you haven’t already invested in these life-saving devices, please do so! Beyond that, though, there are many monitors on the market that will provide specific information on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), particulate matter, humidity levels, and carbon monoxide levels, along with providing possible solutions for correcting problems. These monitors are definitely part of the smart home revolution. See some of your options here.
5. Call in a Professional
If you are experiencing allergy-like symptoms in your home that just won’t quit, even with clean filters, regular dusting, vent cleaning, and a vacuuming routine, or if you have invested in a monitor and are getting some troubling readings, then it may be time to call in a professional. An experienced technician can take a look at your HVAC system and see if there are any problem that could be lowering your air quality, as well as testing the air with more specialized equipment. After determining the problem, the tech can then provide possible solutions to get your home on the road to better indoor air quality.