One of the common causes of illnesses or poor health in commercial buildings and homes is low indoor air quality. Many individuals think that remaining indoors is one of the best ways to prevent air pollution. However, according to the EPA’s research, the air circulating in some indoor areas might be more contaminated than the outdoor air.
If you have ever walked into a commercial space or house and started feeling stifled or irritated in your throat or eyes, it could be due to air quality issues. Low air quality can have a big impact on the general health and comfort of your family. Here are seven common indicators that your home has an air quality problem.
1. Air Distribution Inconsistencies
Warm and cold spots in your living spaces are signs of air distribution problems and may also indicate air quality issues. These spots occur in places where the air is not circulating properly in the house. That might happen if your HVAC unit is relatively small for your living space and has difficulties handling the amount of air in your square footage. Poorly maintained cooling units and clogged ductwork might also be culprits.
If you are not getting even temperatures in your residence, chances are you are not getting consistent filtration as well. Those places that are constantly cold or hot might also have some pockets of pollutants and irritants. Your HVAC technician can check your equipment to determine the causes of your cold and warm spots and even help you get solutions for proper filtration and more even temperatures.
2. Mold in Your Bathrooms
Have you ever left your towel to dry in your bathroom and returned a couple of hours later only to find it damp? That is an indication that your shower room is extremely humid. Humidity and moisture can remain in your bathrooms for hours, even when the other parts of your home feel normal.
Moisture gathers on the bathroom ceiling and walls after showering and can lead to mold growth when the condensation remains in a moist environment. You will be scrubbing the mold off your walls if you do not remove it in time.
The best way to prevent mold growth is by installing spot ventilation fans because opening bathroom windows may not be enough. You can also remedy this humidity issue by adding dehumidifiers and humidifiers in your house.
3. Accumulation of Dust
You may notice visible dust on the air filters even within one month of changing them or accumulating dust on and around your air vents. Your ducts can accumulate and collect dirt, mold spores, flu, common cold germs, and allergens like dust mites, pollen, and dander throughout your house. All of these are tell-tale signs that your residence has a high level of pollutants and contaminants.
Consider upgrading to more advanced air filters to capture the pollutants in your living area because standard filters might not be sufficient for your needs. You can also hire a professional to clean your ductwork.
4. Skin Irritation and Dryness
Poor air quality is usually known to affect the mucous membrane, but it can also irritate your skin. If you reside in a house with bad air quality, you might notice peeling, flaking, redness, rashes, or dryness on any part of your skin. Moreover, if you have acne, eczema, or any other skin complication, bad air quality might aggravate your symptoms.
If any member of your family shows acute respiratory signs, particularly breathing difficulties, you should immediately contact an emergency medical service. While all of these symptoms may result from low air quality, it is crucial to rule out food allergies, airway obstructions, and other causes that might result in serious health emergencies.
5. Asthma Attacks and Allergic Reactions
If any of your family members suffer from asthma attacks or allergies, they can be possible indicators of your home’s air quality. Lack of proper ventilation in your house will enable the air contaminants that usually trigger these symptoms to continue circulating throughout the air. Pet dander, pollen, bacteria, and viruses can all lead to or exacerbate various symptoms if you do not flush them properly from your residence.
Since it is hard to know the specific contaminants circulating in your living space, the best solution is to eliminate all of them collectively with something such as a whole-house fan. This fan is incredibly powerful and effectively removes contaminated and stale air from your residential property. Although whole-house fans are quite expensive, when used properly in the mornings and nighttime, they can help you lessen the continuous use of your air conditioning unit.
6. Unpleasant Smells
Bad odors at home are normally a result of stale and stagnant air. They might also be a sign of mold growth from high humidity levels or an accumulation of dust, dander, and pollen from a place that is not getting the air cleaning and filtration that it needs. If you notice unpleasant smells in your living space, you may benefit from a professional duct cleaning.
If you notice the smells from last night’s supper are still in the house the following day, there is a possibility that pollutants are hanging out in your space. Ordinary smells that also linger for a longer time than they should is a sign that your house does not have proper circulation.
7. Regular Illnesses
In addition to dust accumulation, humidity plays a significant part in your home’s air quality. Airborne diseases move more freely in your house, especially when the air indoors becomes overly dry. This movement of airborne allergens is one of the major reasons why your family gets sick more frequently in the winter months than in the summer season.
Low indoor air quality may cause health problems similar to those of influenza or the common cold. Some of these symptoms may include coughing, sneezing, running nose, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea. Although these symptoms are easily treatable and short-term, you may need a professional to check your home’s air quality if your family members experience them frequently.
Understanding the issues that can be unfavorable to your house’s air quality is a crucial step. By being incredibly proactive about indoor air quality problems, you can ensure the safety and comfort of all of those who live in your home. Should you notice the signs highlighted in this post, discuss all of your available solutions with an HVAC technician from Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. Our NATE-certified professionals might recommend a whole-home or localized air purifier to ease the acute symptoms and eventually enhance your house’s air quality.
If you live in Northern Valley or the Greater Sacramento area, look for these tell-tale signs to help you address air quality problems in your home in time to prevent long-term health issues. You can also reach out to us for other services, including AC installations, servicing and repairs, heating services, and plumbing services. All of our technicians are licensed and industry-trained, and they will strive to get the task done right within the shortest amount of time possible.
If you are experiencing air quality issues, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our air quality solutions. We will help you create a solution that will suit your living space’s distinct needs.