Signs Your Indoor Air Quality is Bad and What You Can Do to Fix It

Springtime is here! But with warmer weather and longer days, comes with the inevitable downside. Indoor air quality problems!

Yes, here come the sniffles, sneezes, coughing, and itching. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) reports more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. Allergies are also the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S costing Americans over $18 billion.

Unfortunately, pollen, dirt, and dander don’t just stay outside. They stick to our clothes and shoes. They come in through open windows on a cool morning. Our own bodies produce dust. Ick, right?

Indoor air quality should be an important priority for all homeowners. There are many health effects from poor indoor air quality both immediate and long term. The immediate effects are common to many of us: irritated eyes, running noses, headaches, dizziness, and tiredness. Poor indoor air quality can worsen other diseases like asthma. The more extreme long term effects can show up years after initial exposure. Bad indoor quality can be linked to respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer.

Even if your family’s symptoms are not obvious, maintaining good air quality is important for your family’s health and comfort.

Follow this guide to see if your home has bad indoor air quality:

Excessive Dust

We mentioned how much dust your home can hold. While dust is normal part of an average home, excessive amounts is a sign of bad indoor air quality. A simple way you can reduce the dust in your home is to change your HVAC filters on a regular basis especially if you suffer with allergies or have pets. Other ways to reduce dust is change your bedding at least once a week, vacuum regularly, and use damp cloths to wipe down surfaces.

New or Worsening Health Problems

Another sign of poor indoor air quality is new or worsening health issues. For example, if your normally mild allergy symptoms suddenly are unbearable, it is time to check your air quality. Getting a whole home air purifier installed can help keep your indoor air clean. If you’re noticing dry air, a whole house humidifier can help improve your comfort too.

Dirty Ductwork
Take a look at your vents. Are they covered in dust? It is time for duct cleaning! While your HVAC filters are designed to to trap dirty but your ducts still accumulate dirt and dust over time. Ductwork is how air gets from your units to your home so whatever is inside your duct is what you’re going to breathe.

Having your duct work professionally cleaned helps improve indoor air quality by removing old dust from circulating throughout your system over and over again (on average 5 to 7 time a day).

There is another benefit for professional duct cleaning: improved energy efficiency. The contaminants in your home can cause you heating and cooling system to work harder. A harder working system has to use that much more energy to keep your home warm or cool.

Bad or Stale Smells

No one’s house always smells like a bed of roses, but if your home has bad smell it could be a sign of poor indoor quality. It is easy to get use to bad smells in your own home, so step outside for a few minutes then come back in. If you notice a musky, stale, or just bad odor, it can be a sign of poor indoor air quality.

Your home should be designed to pull fresh air in and move stale air out. This is why ventilation comes into play. Many people forget the “V” in “HVAC” but it is as important as your heating and cooling equipment.

If there is not enough air circulation, odors will linger. Another cause for bad smells can be mold or too much humidity in your home. If you think this is the cause or have other indoor air quality questions, contact us to discuss how we can help: 618-477-8337.