Does your home suffer from poor air quality? Many homes do, and the issue goes largely undetected. We go about our days assuming that our home is safe, secure, and healthy. It’s often not until a family member becomes ill with allergies or has an asthma attack that we start to look at the issue of air quality.
Before we look at those symptoms of poor air quality, let’s take a look at a few of the leading factors that can cause the quality to deteriorate:
- The presence of mold or mildew due to high humidity levels
- Smoking cigarettes inside the home
- Dirty ductwork, air intake, or air filters in your HVAC system
- Household chemicals such as cleaners, pesticides, or paints
- Improper ventilation which allows in toxins from outdoors or traps in too much moisture
Signs of Poor Air Quality in Your Home
When people live in a home with poor air quality, there are telltale signs. Here are 5 of the most common symptoms of bad air. Please note that while everyone in your home breathes the same air, some people are not as prone to exhibiting these symptoms.
That does not improve the air, but rather it explains why people sometimes overlook bad air as the cause of the issues.
More Dust Than Usual
An early indicator that you have decreased quality in your air is the presence of more dust than usual. Some homeowners will notice that while they used to be able to dust once or twice a week, they now see a dust buildup after just a day or two.
This can mean a number of things from changes in your humidity to dirty ductwork. These issues need to be identified and remediated before anyone becomes ill from all that extra dust.
If you walk in your door after being outside and musty odors hit you when you walk in the door, you have an issue. Musty or moldy smells are not normal. They indicate that there is a problem. It could be anything from mold to standing water in a basement to a dead mouse caught in a trap.
The source of the odor must be found and eliminated. Ignoring it won’t help. The smell will only get worse and people can become ill as it will continue to contaminate your air. Musty odors are always a sign of a problem!
Allergy Symptoms and Cough
Does someone in your home have a constant and persistent cough? This cough, when no other signs of a cold or illness are present, can be a leading indicator. It’s especially true that children and the elderly are more likely to be sensitive to this. The only way to relieve this nagging dry cough is to restore the wellness of your home.
Nausea or Headaches
Do household members complain of headaches? If people who have never complained of headaches in the past suddenly seemed plagued by the, your air could the underlying cause. Many times, people describe a headache that actually makes them feel nauseated. Sometimes, they express that they need to step outside to clear their head, and then the headache subsides.
This headache could be triggered by the very air you breathe.
Skin Sensitivity and Rashes
While some people might cough or get headaches, others might feel perfectly well but begin to suffer from odd rashes or skin sensitivity. Rashes, dry patches, skin irritations, and red bumps can appear when there are certain irritants or chemicals trapped inside without proper ventilation. If your family member has never had a diagnosis of a skin condition but has developed this new condition, look to the air for answers.
To alleviate this, check with two professionals. Check with your doctor to rule out any illness and check with your HVAC specialist to rule out poor air quality.
You’ve now identified that you may have a problem with the air circulation or ventilation in your home. You now must make two important phone calls.
First, schedule an appointment with your family doctor. Make sure there are no other underlying causes that are making you ill. He can rule out allergies or other health concerns.
Second, call your HVAC specialist for an evaluation. He can test your air and customize an action plan to restore your air to good quality so your family can get well. Recommendations will probably include duct cleaning, replacing air filters, or sealing leaking ductwork. It could also involve improving or restoring the humidity levels in your home to conquer molds and a maintenance program to prevent future occurrences.
Once you’re aware of the impact of air quality on your home and the health implications, you can be vigilant in ensuring that this problem doesn’t happen again.