While there’s no denying that you need air to breathe and stay alive, air can also turn out to be very poisonous. Many people have the misconception that staying indoors protects them from air pollution. But that’s not the case all the time because sometimes the outdoor air is safer than the indoor air.
The Environmental Protection Agency admits that the indoor spaces are sometimes more polluted than the outdoor areas. But how do you know if the indoor air is not safe for you and your family? Here are some signs of poor indoor air quality you should know.
1. You’re Experiencing Allergies
Are you experiencing a sudden allergy episode in your household? Well, it can be because of the season changes or the weather patterns in your area. But it can also be because there are a lot of contaminants interfering with your indoor air.
A high concentration of pollen, dust, mold, and other irritants cause allergic reactions to different people. These substances are more severe in enclosed areas such as indoor spaces. This is because the concentrated air will not escape easily; neither will it mix with enough fresh air to dilute it.
Symptoms of allergies include sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, chest congestion, and headaches. Pay attention to what triggers these symptoms to determine the exact cause. For instance, you might start sneezing immediately when you enter the bedroom. That should be a sign that the air inside there is not of good quality.
2. Asthma Symptoms
Poor indoor air quality is the biggest enemy to asthmatic people. If someone in your family is asthmatic, they’ll sense the quality of air changes immediately. They might start experiencing more asthma signs, such as breathing problems, coughing, chest tightening, and wheezing. They might also go through episodes of asthma attacks.
Symptoms of asthma appear as soon as the person gets exposed to polluted air. Airborne particles and the ozone are all known for polluting the indoor air and resulting in asthma symptoms. These pollutants irritate the lungs, resulting in an asthma attack.
3. Persistent Cold and Flu
If your family members have some cold and flu symptoms that don’t seem to go away even after treatment, your indoor air could be the problem. Poor indoor air is the biggest trigger of cold- and flu-like issues. You’ll start coughing, sneezing, nauseating, and experiencing an itchy throat and nose.
Under normal circumstances, these cold symptoms will only last for a few days or a week. If they go for over a week or more than two weeks, it will mean something else more than the typical cold. You should start paying attention to those symptoms and when they occur.
For instance, if you feel okay while outdoors but start feeling sick once you get back to the house, the indoor air is to blame. Some of the things that may encourage the spread of cold among your family members include exposure to all kinds of air pollutants. These include bacteria, pollen, viruses, mites, and dust. High humidity in your house can encourage the growth of these substances further.
4. Smells and Stuffiness
If it feels stuffy and smelly inside the house and the smell doesn’t go away, you should consider purifying the air. Sometimes the house smells like yesterday’s dinner even after cleaning the dishes and clearing all leftover foods.
The dampness and the smell inside the house indicate that your home is not getting enough air circulation. Consider improving the ventilation and opening all your windows to see if the smell goes away. If it feels the same repeatedly, your indoor air may not be healthy for you and your family anymore.
5. You’re Doing Endless Cleaning
It’s good to want to keep your house spotless all the time. But sometimes you’ll do the cleaning once per day, and the house remains clean till the next day. Other times, you’ll have to clean over and over again, and you still can’t achieve the desired cleanliness.
If you keep seeing dust particles and all kinds of dirt inside the house, then the air inside your home is not clean. Maybe your HVAC system is dirty and blowing all the dust particles inside the house. You should consider cleaning the unit and installing a new air filtration system before the problem gets worse.
6. Pay Attention to Your Lungs
In the worst situations, poor indoor air quality might interfere with your lungs. Chemicals in the air can cause severe health conditions on your lungs, including pneumonia and bronchitis. Breathing airborne particles have a direct impact on your health.
As soon as you start noticing some of these health symptoms, you should talk to your doctor and investigate the possible causes. Pay attention to what’s happening around your house and office. Check if the neighbors recently had some chemical sprays on their lawn or if there a construction work going on nearby.
Before your condition gets worse, you should inspect and clean your home. Change your filters and have a new air purification system. Ensure that you take care of all the smaller symptoms before they become a threat to your health.
7. Hot and Cold Spots in Your House
Inconsistent air circulation causes cold and hot spots in your house. This mostly happens because your HVAC system is too small to handle the amount of air that your home needs. You can also blame it on clogged ducts or a faulty cooling system.
Uneven temperatures in your house mean that your filtration system is not serving you as it should. The areas that are either hot or cold may have pollutants and irritants, which are not good for your health.
You should also pay attention to your indoor humidity. If you notice some mugginess and dryness, it could be a sign of poor indoor air quality. Call a professional to help you figure out what to do to bring your indoor air quality back to normal.
8. You Find It Hard Sleeping
When your indoor air is polluted, you may have a hard time falling asleep. To enjoy some quality sleep, you need to sleep in an environment free from pollutants such as dust particles. 80% of people suffer from sleep problems due to exposure to high levels of pollution.
If you’re tossing and turning in bed for the better part of the night, then you should pay attention to the air that surrounds you. The temperatures and humidity levels also have something to do with the quality of sleep you’ll get. Make sure you address issues with your HVAC system before things get out of hand.
Professionals Can Help
Home is supposed to be the most comfortable place to be, but that won’t be the case if the air is polluted. Some of the air pollution signs might not be so severe, but they can escalate to more complex issues if you don’t take care of them. As soon as you suspect problems with the quality of air in your home, talk to our team of professionals.
Experts from McGowan's Heating & Air Conditioning will be at your service to restore your indoor air quality and give you peace of mind. We help residents of Jacksonville, Bunnell, and the surrounding communities to purify the air in their homes by installing the best air purifiers in the market. We design, build, install, maintain, and repair heating and cooling units (including ductless mini-splits) for commercial, residential, and mobile homes. We can also clean your HVAC system so it doesn’t cause air pollution. Contact us today to learn more about our services.