Houston Home Service Experts

Signs of Poor IAQ

Living in Houston, the issue of outdoor air quality is a common topic. It is especially concerning in the heat of the summer when pollution and ozone problems combine to create hazardous breathing conditions. While it is important to be aware of outdoor air quality, it is even more vital to understand and evaluate your indoor air quality (IAQ).

A recent study issued by the EPA reported that poor IAQ is one of the top five environmental health risks in U.S homes today. Given the fact that the average person spends about 90% of their time indoors, ensuring that the air inside should be a top priority. Houston households should be especially mindful of their IAQ as pollutant levels inside can sometimes be two-to-five times higher than the levels outside.

Universal, a leader in IAQ solutions, has compiled a list of indicators for harmful indoor air – as well as a list of common contaminants. Check your home thoroughly and quiz your family after you’ve reviewed this list:

  • High Humidity in the Air – In the summer or winter is there condensation on your windows? This is a telltale sign of too much humidity in your home. If your HVAC thermostat shows a level of humidity over 45 percent, then your home is too humid. This moisture can lead to mold and mold spore growth.
  • Leaks in Home – Water leaks in the ceiling, walls or plumbing can also lead to mold and mildew growth.
  • Pets – Dogs and cats shed hair and dander, which are huge contributors to poor IAQ. Dogs that spend a considerable amount of time outdoors without regular grooming can contaminate the entire home with pollutants.
  • Gas Appliances – Do you have appliances that run on gas? Old or defective appliances can leak and contaminate the air with toxins. If you can smell gas when an appliance is not on, you should call a technician right away.
  • Poor Ventilation – Your kitchen, bathroom and dryer should all have exhaust fans or proper ventilation. Smoke, humidity and air from the clothes dryer can compromise the air quality without proper ventilation.
  • VOC’s – Volatile Organic Compounds are gasses or vapor released from burning fuel or solvents. Indoors most VOCs are emitted from cleaners, paints and hobby supplies, sometimes simply from the storage of these items. It is always a good idea to store heavy cleaners, paints and other liquids that carry a string odor in the garage or outside storage area.

VOC’s Impact on Indoor Air Quality

  • Stuffy Rooms – Rooms that are stuffy or contain a heavy air quality are the most obvious signs of poor IAQ. This is usually due to insufficient ventilation, which is one of the worst contributors to poor indoor air.
  • Home Sick – If you suffer from allergies or exhibit cold symptoms when at home, but automatically feel better once you leave, your IAQ is probably to blame. Allergies, asthma, and upper respiratory problems can manifest or become exacerbated by airborne allergens or toxins.
  • Carpeting Contamination – People and pets can track allergens inside the home and contaminate floors and carpets. Carpets are especially problematic as they can keep them inside their fibers for extended periods of time.

If you feel that your indoor air quality has been impacted by any of the problems listed, be proactive and begin finding some solutions. Poor IAQ can affect the health, comfort and productivity of your family – and the long-term effects could be devastating. Remember that Universal has a variety of indoor air quality solutions from humidification to UV germicidal. We can come to your home and perform a complete assessment. Our professionals can then offer a variety of options on how best to proceed. Call us today at (713) 364-0226 and we’ll schedule an appointment!

Solutions to Poor IAQ