Understanding Your Home’s Air Quality
Maintaining good indoor air quality (IAQ) is essential for a healthy and safe living environment. Poor IAQ can result in an increased risk of illnesses, irritations, and allergic reactions, in both the short term and long term. Thankfully, it is relatively simple to assess your home's air quality and take steps to improve it. Options for addressing lackluster indoor air quality can include a variety of methods, including removing potential sources of contamination or using air purification and filtration systems designed to filter out pollutants.
What About Gas Appliances?
Gas appliances can be a significant source of air pollutants in your home. They emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals, like nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, which can lead to poor indoor air quality. Furthermore, the fumes from gas ovens and stoves can linger long after cooking. Poor ventilation in kitchens can compound the levels of these potentially hazardous fumes, so it’s important to ensure that your kitchen is well-ventilated and that you always use your exhaust fans or open a window when using gas appliances.
Keep reading to learn more about your home’s air quality and the impact your gas appliances may be having on it.
Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can have serious consequences for our health - making us more susceptible to allergies, irritations, and even diseases. To prevent these issues from occurring, it’s important to identify potential sources of air pollution in your home and take measures to reduce their impact on your indoor environment.
Common symptoms of poor IAQ include:
- Feeling tired or experiencing headaches and dizziness
- Coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing
- Irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat
- Allergic reactions like runny noses and skin rashes
- Increased asthma symptoms
- Dry, itchy, or irritated skin
How to Test Your Home’s Air Quality
Measuring your indoor air quality is the best way to get an accurate picture of what’s in your home's atmosphere. Tests such as particle counts and carbon dioxide tests can help detect levels of pollutants and allergens, while mold tests can identify potential issues with moisture. While there are DIY tests that homeowners can purchase online or in hardware stores, we recommend scheduling an air quality testing appointment with our IAQ specialists at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, LLC.
When testing, we will consider the size and configuration of your home and discuss the type of contaminants you would like to test for and any general air quality issues you are having. This will ensure that a test is conducted accurately and completely, giving you a full picture of what is going on with your home’s air quality.
Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Improving your indoor air quality is an important step in ensuring that your family is breathing the healthiest air possible. Best practices to improve IAQ include controlling the sources of airborne particles, such as dust and pet dander, by regularly vacuuming and dusting surfaces and furniture. Additionally, you should open windows and doors frequently to allow fresh air into your home while avoiding aerosol sprays or perfumes that may contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Other methods for addressing the indoor air quality throughout your home can include installing:
- Air cleaners
- Air purifiers
- Air filters
- UV germicidal lights
- Humidifiers and dehumidifiers
- Whole-house fans
- Point-of-use exhaust fans
- Ventilation control systems
But what should you do about your gas appliances specifically? As noted, gas appliances can majorly contribute to indoor air pollution. To reduce emissions from these sources, it is important to have them regularly inspected by an experienced technician who understands their operation and potential hazards. Investing in an efficient vent hood or sealing leaks around the appliance can also help improve air quality in your home by trapping fumes before they disperse into the atmosphere. Additionally, switching to more energy-efficient models when replacing older gas appliances is another great strategy for reducing emissions.
Are you concerned about your home’s indoor air quality? Reach out to the IAQ experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, LLC, for help.