We all believe our homes are a safe haven from the dirt and pollutants that exist outdoors, but a recent study shows that indoor air quality can actually be much worse than outdoor air quality. So how do you know if you have an indoor air quality problem on your hands?
Signs of a Problem
Have you been sneezing a lot lately? Or maybe you’ve noticed issues with your eyes watering and a sense of just not feeling well. Many people believe these symptoms are related to allergies, and that’s definitely a possibility – only the allergens may be an indicator of a larger air quality problem in your home. Sometimes symptoms show up after a renovation or construction project, a move to a new home, treatment for pests, or even just the introduction of a new cleaning product to your house. But there are definitely other indoor air quality problem sources, like mold, mildew, and smoke (among others) that can cause significant health problems.
Another sign of an air quality issue is stale air, or smells that just won’t leave your home. This points to an issue with ventilation in your home, meaning that your house may be a little too sealed off from allowing outdoor air inside.
Some of the most common indoor air pollutants include:
What to Do
First, identify any immediate sources of indoor air pollution (smoke, cleaning products, pesticides), and try to improve the situation. For example, if you routinely run a fireplace in the winter, be certain that your chimney is clean and functioning properly. If there are cleaning products that could be problematic, switch to non-toxic products that are less problematic.
Next, make sure all of your vents are clean, and that your air filters have been replaced recently. Dirty air filters contribute to a lot of indoor air pollution, so make sure you are changing these on a regular basis, especially if you have pets. It is also possible that your ducts need a thorough cleaning, which will eliminate a lot of the dirt being moved through your HVAC system.
Another helpful hint for improving the air quality of your home is to keep houseplants. Plants naturally filter the air, and there are plenty that are low-maintenance, so you don’t have to be a master gardener to experience their benefits. This list has a variety of plants to keep your air clean.
If you think you may have an issue with mold or mildew, check your home thoroughly for water leaks. In the event that you find a major issue, you may have to have a professional come in to deal with the problem. Trust us…a major mold issue is not a DIY project!
If you have done what you can on your own, and are still experiencing issues with air quality, it may be time to call in a pro. We have a number of air quality solutions, including electronic air cleaners that can help eliminate pollutants. When you call us for air quality issues, a tech will visit your home, complete an evaluation of the problem, and recommend solutions tailored to your specific needs.
Remember, no one should have to live in a home with air quality issues!