Issues with indoor air quality in your home can be challenging to detect because they tend to be invisible. As you and your family spend more time indoors, paying attention to these cues and taking steps to resolve any problems are especially important for protecting your health and wellbeing.
Signs of poor indoor air quality
Stuffy nose, sinus headaches and itchy, watery eyes are all signs of allergies that can indicate an issue with indoor air quality in your home. If these symptoms worsen when you are home and ease shortly after you leave, chances are good that your home’s air quality is the problem. People and pets bring in pollen, dust and other irritants that can become trapped indoors when there isn’t adequate air circulation and ventilation.
Dizziness, nausea, rash, shortness of breath and muscle pain can be caused by mold or asbestos. These symptoms can become quite serious and should be addressed by a medical professional. Your HVAC company can help you identify the source and fix the problem.
Condensation occurs when hot, moist air hits cold, dry air. Excess moisture on walls or windows can be a sign of poor ventilation and can encourage mold growth and leave stains on drywall.
This is another sign of a ventilation or indoor air quality problem. Because your nose will eventually adjust to any unusual smells, odors in your home will be easier to detect when you re-enter your home after being away for a while. You can even just step outside for a few minutes and see what you notice when you come back in.
When your HVAC equipment becomes dirty, the airflow is restricted or can stop altogether. Not only is this harmful to your HVAC system, it can be harmful to your health as well. Dirty air filters can allow more dust particulates to build up inside your home.
Ways to improve indoor air quality
When you enter your home, take off shoes and leave them at the entrance. Avoid burning candles or using artificial, scented air fresheners. Brush pets often and keep them well-groomed. Don’t smoke indoors. Limit the use of chemicals and carefully store them according to the package directions.
Open windows when possible to let in fresh air. Make sure air vents are open and unblocked. Operate the bathroom fan when the bathroom is in use. Use ceiling fans.
Air cleaners installed with your HVAC system use HEPA filters, activated charcoal or carbon filters, or charged media (electrostatic) filters to clean the air that is circulated inside your home.
Regular HVAC maintenance is the biggest factor in preserving your home’s indoor air quality, as well as prolonging the life and efficiency of your HVAC system. This includes annual professional service and changing the air filter every 30-90 days depending on how quickly the filter becomes dirty.