If you’re experiencing more allergy symptoms than usual, feeling short of breath, or having issues like headaches, it’s possible that your indoor air quality may be bad.
Poor indoor air quality can seriously harm your quality of life, and result in chronic long-term health effects, according to the EPA. So in this article, we’ll be taking a look at the top signs that your indoor air quality may be bad – and we’ll also provide you with some simple steps you can take to improve it. Let’s get started now.
What Causes Bad Indoor Air Quality?
There are a number of different things that can cause bad indoor air quality. A buildup of allergens and dust is a common cause. Gases and vapors from paint, carpet and furniture can also contribute to bad indoor air quality, as can microbes like mold and fungi. Even things like dust mites can contribute to poor overall indoor air quality, as can pet dander and fur.
If your home is not properly ventilated and it cannot remove these contaminants from the air, you may start to experience quite a few unpleasant symptoms, which we’ll discuss in the next section of this guide.
Recognizing The Top Signs Of Bad Indoor Air Quality
There are a number of different signs that your indoor air quality could be bad. Here are a few of the most common signs and symptoms.
● An increase in allergy/respiratory symptoms while indoors – If you have noticed that your allergies are particularly bad this year, or you have asthma or another respiratory condition that seems to be worse while you’re indoors, your indoor air quality may be poor.
● Dust buildup around vents and surfaces – This could be a sign that dust and debris have been building up in your ventilation system, and are being spread throughout your home.
● Unpleasant smells that don’t go away – Nasty smells like pet smells, mildew or food odors throughout your home indicate that your HVAC system may not be ventilating properly, and this could be contributing to poor indoor air quality.
● You always feel better when you’re away from home – If you tend to feel better when you’re away from your home – at work, for example, or during a weekend trip – but then come home and start to experience symptoms like shortness of breath, headaches, and dry mouth, this is definitely a sign that your indoor air quality is bad.
For more information and to see some of the other top signs and symptoms of bad indoor air quality, this article from the EPA is a useful resource.
How Can I Improve My Indoor Air Quality?
There are a few steps you can take to help address the problem of indoor air quality. Here are a few top tips.
● Identify sources of pollution and remove them – Taking actions such as storing household cleaning products and paint in your garage can help eliminate VOCs. Ceasing the use of a space heater can help eliminate combustion pollutants like nitrogen dioxide. Disallowing smoking indoors will help eliminate the pollutants involved with tobacco use.
● Clean your home thoroughly, especially if you have pets – Regularly sweeping your home, dusting, and vacuuming can help reduce the total amount of airborne matter in your house. This is particularly true if you have pets.
● Change your indoor air filter – If you haven’t changed your furnace air filter in a while, you should do so. It’s responsible for filtering out airborne contaminants like particulate matter, dander, pollen, and dust.
● Clean your ducts – If you have never had your HVAC ducts cleaned, dust buildup, mildew, and other contaminants in your ducts could be contributing to poor air quality.
● Invest in an air purifier – While they are expensive, air purifiers can help collect VOCs, particulate matter, and allergens that cannot be removed by your HVAC air filter alone, so they are a good investment if you believe your indoor air quality may be poor.
● Keep windows open when possible – Proper ventilation can help you eliminate harmful compounds and particles from your home. When it’s possible to do so, opening windows for ventilation can help improve your indoor air quality.
Recognize The Signs Of Bad Indoor Air Quality – And Keep Your Air Clean!
We hope this guide has been helpful, and has assisted you in identifying potential causes of poor indoor air quality. If you have more questions or concerns, we recommend consulting with an expert, such as Georgian Heating & Air, for a professional assessment of your home’s air quality.