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What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Apr 22, 2020

How Do I Know If My Home Has Poor Indoor Air Quality?

One thing that happens to be in the back of every homeowner’s mind is whether or not their humble abode has poor indoor air quality. Since lower-than-normal “IAQ” is something that cannot be seen by the human eye (in most cases), it may be impossible to confirm if your living space has seen happier, healthier days.

However, some tell-tale signs can indicate if your home has poor indoor air quality, such as:

  • Heaps of Dust: No, we’re not talking about little traces of dust here and there, but significant, noticeable amounts that are accumulating throughout your living space weekly. If you feel as if you’re wiping down your surfaces in your home more frequently than you should, this may indicate that your IAQ is less than stellar.

  • Random Mold Growth: No matter how big or small the formation may be, any sight of mold growth in your home is a cause for concern. Typically, this “unwanted guest” starts to form when the humidity levels in your humble abode are unbalanced. And if you have pre-existing respiratory conditions, mold can be rather detrimental to your well-being.

  • Inconsistent Heating and Cooling: When you have a central HVAC system, one of the most significant benefits is that it will keep your entire home at the desired temperature of your choice. However, sometimes that isn’t the case — especially when you have poor indoor air quality. Most times, this is caused by significant traces of allergens (i.e., dust, pollen, and bacteria) being present in your home, which leads to random hot and cold spots throughout your residence.

However, in light of the COVID-19 health crisis, now is the time many people are choosing to improve their indoor air quality to ensure their family is safe and stays healthy. Today’s homes are designed and built to be as energy-efficient as possible, which means the same air circulates throughout the home through our heating and cooling systems.

That said, here are some ways you may be contributing to poor air quality in your home and not even realize it:

How am I Hurting My Home’s Indoor Air Quality?

Chemical Household Cleaners

When you scrub your home down, what do you typically use to get the job done? For many, they use an array of household cleaning agents that are packed with harmful chemicals. And when this is the case, any poorly-ventilated area will be subject to having these pollutants go airborne the minute a spray bottle is spritzed.

When this happens, it not only dampens your indoor air quality, but it can take a negative toll on your respiratory system — especially if you have a preexisting condition, such as asthma. Another eerie thing that most homeowners don’t realize is that these chemical pollutants can linger around in your air much longer than you realize — which is never a good thing.

However, if you’re looking to be more mindful of the way you clean and sanitize your home, there are a few DIY, natural ways you can get the job done, without exposing you and your loved ones to hazardous chemical additives.

Paint that Contains VOCs

While you’re spending more time indoors, are you thinking about finally repainting a room that is in desperate need of a facelift? If so, there’s a chance that you might have purchased a standard household paint to get the job done. And while you may not think anything of it, at first, you might want to reconsider your selection.

Believe it or not, many residential paints contain high volumes of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can not only deteriorate your indoor air quality but harm your respiratory health. Although most VOCs disappear by the time your paint dries, there is still a chance that some may stick around — not good.

To help combat this, not only will you want to properly ventilate the room you’re working in (i.e., open the windows and turn a fan on), but you might want to return your current bucket of paint and look for one that contains little-to-no VOCs in its formula. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that many different options on the market are not only top-tier and vibrant, but are a much healthier option to adorn your walls with.

Artificial Air Fresheners

Sometimes, a room in your home could use a hint of fragrance to freshen it up. And, by popular demand, many homeowners will simply purchase an aerosol can to make that happen. From freshly cut roses to ripe strawberries, there’s a scent for every preference. However, while the selection of fragrances may vary from home to home, there is one thing that each can share in common: they contain a laundry list of harmful chemical additives.

From phthalates to formaldehyde, these harsh chemicals can cause an alarming number of health problems, such as congenital disabilities. Knowing this, if you’re looking to give a room some aromatherapy, it’s best to look into essential oils.

When you opt to take the natural, chemical-free route, there are a variety of different scents to choose from. Whether you prefer lavender over lemongrass (and vice-versa), each oil can be administered in a room to give it a fragrant makeover.


If you’re the owner of a cat or dog, you’ll know that there’s no greater joy than being a pet parent! However, whether your “fur baby” has long hair or short hair, there’s a chance that they’re leaving it behind on your couch, curtains, and even your bedding. While this might be a non-negotiable part of the unofficial pet parent agreement, if you let their fur stick around for a while, or don’t complete deep cleans often, it can interfere with your indoor air quality.

In fact, pet dander is one of the leading causes of bogging down IAQ, starting indoor allergy symptoms (i.e., coughing, sneezing, wheezing), and can even disrupt the well-being of your central HVAC unit. Luckily, in this case, there are a few solutions to the “paw-blem” at hand:

Deep Clean Often

  • Consider giving your home an even deeper clean each week. From using the vacuum hose to removing pet dander from fabric-based objects (i.e., your couch) to mopping any tile or hardwood floors, each of these tasks will make a difference.

Don’t Skip a Grooming Appointment

  • Have your pet groomed more often. Of course, before you start booking appointments or taking matters into your own hands, you’ll want to do your research or consult with a professional about how often your fur baby’s breed should be groomed — since excessive grooming could be detrimental to their well-being.

However, if you’re looking to keep your home’s indoor air quality in tip-top shape, there are a few professional ways to help make a difference — enter a variety of top-tier indoor air quality solutions from Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air!

Visit the Anderson Video Library to learn more about indoor air quality!

How Can I Improve My Home’s Indoor Air Quality?

Fresh Air

The EPA reports Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors and that indoor air has 3-5x the concentration of pollutants than outdoor air pollutants. So, sometimes, the best way to improve your indoor air quality is to simply open the windows!

Ultra Violet Purification Light

Similar in appearance to the bright bulbs you’d see in a tanning bed, Ultra Violet Purification is one of the best ways to help sanitize the air in your home year-round. In an effort to improve your indoor air quality, this device uses the rays of the bulbs to help destroy microorganisms that may be present in your air.

Air Scrubber Purification System

Are you looking for a great way to “scrub” your indoor air supply as clean as can be? If so, it’s best to look into a whole-home Air Scrubber Purification System! This system can kill up to 99% of all airborne bacteria — but how?

Simple: it takes any airborne debris that it finds and delivers it straight to your HVAC unit’s filter; it uses certified space technology to make this happen (the same technology you’d find in NASA space stations)!

Also, this incredible product will not only help you breathe easier around the house, but it will even help you dust much less — which is truly a dream come true for any homeowner! Furthermore, the Air Scrubber Purification System will come in handy for those family members who suffer from allergies and will even cut back on pet dander.

See the Air Scrubber Purification System in action via our Anderson Video Library!

Improve the Indoor Air Quality of Your San Diego Home

If you’re looking to make a noticeable difference in your humble abode, look no further than the indoor air quality pros at Anderson Plumbing, Heating and Air! We offer a variety of affordable and effective professional IAQ products that will help you breathe easier and keep your mind at ease!

To learn more, give our friendly team a call at (866) 374-0402! Also, emergency service plumbing and HVAC services are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

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