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When we think of air quality, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the air outside.
While the outdoor air quality is essential because it affects our quality of life, have you ever stopped to think about your indoor air quality? Many people don’t give indoor air quality a second thought.
You may stop to consider the air inside a home where there is smoking or other allergens present, but chances are you don’t think twice about indoor air quality- unless a specific situation is presented in a way where we need to think twice about it. Indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor air quality. In fact, indoor air quality is more important because we spend most of our time indoors, especially during the winter season.
So, how do you know if your indoor air quality is up to par? Let’s examine the signs that your indoor air quality is poor and find ways to fix the issue.
Three signs that your indoor air quality might be poor are your health and the condition of it, your HVAC system, and odor in your home.
Your health and indoor air quality
Your health can be a telltale sign that your indoor air quality is poor. Do you have any recent health conditions that have arisen recently? Or maybe you only feel a certain way at this specific location and notice leaving makes you feel better. Your health can tell a lot about your indoor air quality, primarily if you have newly developed symptoms or severe health concerns.
Many people don’t associate their health with their indoor air quality, but they should. Paying close attention to your health can save you from dealing with health issues. Specific respiratory symptoms may begin presenting themselves as a result of poor indoor air quality. Some symptoms to note are frequent headaches, fatigue, dizziness, coughing, and sneezing.
When you have headaches, do you usually get them in the same location? For instance, do you notice you always have a headache in the afternoon after being at work for a while? This could be a sign of poor indoor air quality. The respiratory system is always the most commonly affected system, but the circulatory system is also widely affected. Breathing in pollutants and fine particles send those not only through the respiratory system naturally, but they also travel to the circulatory system.
These two systems work together. When you’re breathing in chemicals and particles, your body’s natural reaction is to cough or sneeze, which is its natural defense to ridding itself of foreign particles. The foreign objects can affect the oxygen exchange in the body, which is why some people may feel dizzy or fatigued after being in an area for a certain amount of time.
If your HVAC system is running inefficiently, that could be another sign of poor indoor air quality. There are a few different signs that your HVAC system is running inadequately: inability to control the temperature in the home correctly, large amounts of dust particles are left floating in the air, and there may be a lot of humidity in the home. In your home, temperature is very important for living comfortably. If the HVAC unit won’t control the temperature anymore, it’s time for it to be serviced.
Another thing that affects the HVAC system is the air filter inside it. If the filters are dirty or clogged, the unit won’t be able to collect the dust particles in your home. You want to make sure that your HVAC filter not only removes the allergens and particles in the air but that it doesn’t rerelease these particulates back into your environment after the filter fills up. When this happens, the particles float around in the air because they have nothing to filter them, which is especially dangerous when it comes to the finer particles that you can’t just dust away. You may think you’re collecting all the dust particles in the air when you clean your home, but there are always finer particles that are there invisible to the naked eye. These little fine particles are key culprits to poor indoor air quality.
When your HVAC system isn’t working as it should, it won’t remove the humidity in the air. When your home is too humid, a host of problems can occur. The increased humidity shows inconsistencies within the HVAC system because it means there is an issue with the airflow or ventilation of the HVAC system. Inconsistency with the humidity in the home usually means problems with the temperature in certain rooms of the home. When you have one, you typically have the other.
If left untreated, humidity can cause a mold issue. Mold is an entirely different issue in its own right. It can cause serious health issues if left untreated. If your HVAC system is running inefficiently, it’s best to have it serviced because you could be compromising your indoor air quality.
Mold and mildew
The last sign that something could be wrong with your indoor air quality is that there is a musty smell in your home you can’t identify. Usually, these smells come from longtime influences in the home such as animal urine, chemical cleaners, and mold. Animal urine, if not cleaned properly, will give off gases that are harmful to your air quality. Chemical cleaners emit gases and fumes that we become accustomed to, but they can be extremely toxic. These cleaners leave a constant haze in the home and, over time, contribute to poor indoor air quality.
Mold can also cause a bad odor. It forms from having too much moisture in the home, which we mentioned previously. There are many different types of mold, but they all grow when moisture is present. Mold growth comes when the mold spores land on a wet spot. Common areas for this are the kitchen, laundry room, and especially the bathroom.
When mold is present in your home it can significantly compromise the quality of air in your personal environment. Mold produces mold spores that travel in your home’s air acting as an allergen that can impact your health. Utilizing an air purifier in your home can help to drastically improve the quality of the air you breathe in and help to eliminate air pollutants in your home. You may ask what is the best air purifier for mold and other pollutants in my home. Simply, you want to find an air purifier that effectively removes odors and pollutants from your air. Look for an air purifier that uses a two-stage filtration process, with natural technology that doesn’t produce added chemicals into the air and that utilizes a hospital-grade HEPA filter to remove fine particulates from your home’s air.
Making sure you have clean indoor air is essential. We always consider outdoor air quality, but we need to start looking inside our homes and making the air quality better where we spend most of our time. Indoor air quality is becoming more of an issue because many people don’t consider it a real problem. Your indoor air quality matters just as much to your health as does what you eat. If you think about all of the things you breathe in over the course of a day, you should at least want what the air you breathe at home to be clean.
Tips for better indoor air quality
There are simple things you can do around your home to ensure that your indoor air quality is up to par.
- Change your air filters on your HVAC system. If your system is having issues, have it serviced.
- Remove Harsh Chemicals. Another thing you could do is cut out the harsh cleaning chemicals and opt for a more natural cleaning product.
- Regular Cleaning. Make sure to clean up properly and dispose of all animal urine and feces so that it doesn’t stain or get stuck in your carpet.
- Fresh Air. Open your windows and allow fresh air to come in and move stagnant air out of the house. Allowing fresh air to come in will help with air circulation and move air particles out of your home.
Making eco-friendly changes will not only help you become greener cleaner, but it will also significantly improve your indoor air quality. Once you have made some practical, easy changes, you’ll have better air quality for a winter spent enjoying the festivities, rather than dealing with poor air quality issues.
The EnviroKlenz Mobile UV Model is designed to aid in the elimination of odor and chemical contaminants in your personal environment, as well as eliminating bacteria, viruses, and mold spores by utilizing ultraviolet germicidal radiation (UVC) lights that shine on the collected organisms with a high efficiency of kill. The air system also contains both a hospital grade HEPA filter, as well as the EnviroKlenz cartridge that utilizes a patented earth mineral technology. This technology destroys a broad spectrum of chemicals and odors at the source to help improve the quality of your air and aid in the betterment of your overall health.
- Henderson, Shawna ( 2017, Sept. 21) Mold, Indoor Air Quality, and Your Health Ventilation for Designing Better Bulidings (Retrieved from http://info.zehnderamerica.com/blog/mold-indoor-air-quality-and-your-health)
- Allergy & Air (2015, Sept. 7) 8 Reasons You Have Bad Home Air Quality (Retrieved from https://learn.allergyandair.com/reasons-for-bad-home-air-quality/)
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (2017) Indoor Air Quality-General OSH Answers Fact Sheets (Retrieved from http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/iaq_intro.html)