Indoor Air Quality And Your Health

Indoor air quality is an important aspect to pay attention to. The overall indoor air quality of your home can play an integral role in you and your entire family’s health. Because of this, it is essential to understand if it is harming you and anyone living within your household. Whether you are experiencing symptoms or not, you want to be aware of the overall quality of the air because symptoms will not always present themselves.

Below we discuss some potential symptoms to look out for when you are assessing your indoor air quality, possible respiratory health effects, how to diagnose air quality, what you might be able to do about fixing it, and the general AC maintenance that you should do to prevent it.

man with mask because of indoor air pollution

Potential Symptoms To Look For:

1. Allergies.

One of the sure ways to figure out if you are an air quality concern in your home is to figure out whether or not your allergies are being triggered (if applicable). If you are someone that suffers from allergies, it might be very tempting to just brush it off as a product of weather changes and seasonal allergies. However, it could be caused by a sensitive reaction to the indoor pollutants and containment that are dispersing into your air regularly by your AC unit.

No matter what you are sensitive to, indoor air pollutants can be at the direct root of your problem. A lot of people react and suffer from allergy symptoms when they are exposed to various things including irritants, pollen, or even dust.

2. More Severe Symptoms.

While you might experience various common allergy symptoms, you also want to be on the lookout for much more severe symptoms that might present themselves. Some of the more serious indoor air pollutants and contaminants like toxic mold growth, chemicals, and even asbestos can cause severe symptoms that might result in nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and more. If you find yourself or anyone in your household experiencing these extreme symptoms, you will want to call a professional immediately to be able to accurately diagnose the problem that might be leading to extreme indoor air pollution.

Potential Respiratory Health Effects:

1. Short Term.

Over the short term, you might experience various symptoms related and virtually indistinguishable from a common cold or viral disease. Because of this, it makes it very difficult for successfully diagnosing air problems.

2. Long Term.

Various much more severe respiratory health problems can show up years after consistent exposure. In fact, symptoms leading to various respiratory diseases including asthma can occur in individuals that are exposed to bad indoor air quality over an extended period of time.

map of the body with Health effects of pollution

How To Identify Poor Air Quality?

1. Notice Symptoms.

The most significant indicator that you have an indoor air pollution problem is identifying and noticing symptoms as they occur. Symptoms of people living in the home is a crucial indicator, and it is likely the first thing that you will notice.

2. Identify Potential Sources.

An excellent way to figure out whether or not you have an indoor air quality problem is by identifying the different sources that could exist. By knowing what could cause the problem in the first place, you will be able to look out for any issues with it.

3. Musty Odors.

Another good way to tell if you have an air quality problem would be noticing any sort of musty odors stemming from your AC unit. If you notice a distinct and musty type of smell protruding from your AC unit, you are likely dealing with mold growth in your ventilation system. This type of mold growth is common. This is especially common if you do not regularly invest in routine yearly maintenance for your HVAC system. The best way to determine if you have a distinct odor emitting throughout your home is by removing yourself from your home and breathing fresh air and then placing yourself back in your home. You should be able to tell whether or not there is an odor present. If not, you can always use someone unfamiliar with the usual ‘scent’ in your home.

4. Walls.

Another indicator to determine if you have any sort of air quality problem would be to check out your walls. Sometimes, you might notice either excess moisture, condensation, or even mold growth on your walls. This will provide you with enough evidence needed to know that you might be dealing with poor air quality.

How To Avoid Poor Air Quality?

1. Keep Carpets and Floors Clean.

One of the biggest things that you are going to be able to do to keep your home free from airborne pollutants effectively is to keep your carpets and hardwood floors clean. You want to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and potentially get your carpets cleaned by professionals.

2. Maintain Proper Humidity Levels.

Something you are going to want to do is to be sure to maintain proper humidity levels throughout the year. You want to maintain around 30 to 50% humidity to keep various allergens at bay. Dust mites and mold absolutely thrive in moisture-rich environments.

3. Routine HVAC Maintenance and Cleaning.

You want to invest in professional and routine HVAC maintenance and cleaning to keep everything functioning correctly and to keep your filters clean.

Overall, a lot that can be done to improve the quality of the air inside your home. If you follow the advice discussed in the article above, you should be able to do just that.  If you have any questions contact us.