The quality of air that you breathe, whether inside or outside your homes, can impact your health. Indoor air quality is believed to be particularly crucial today as more people are staying in their homes due to the current public health concerns.
Sadly, air contaminants may increase in homes without its occupants knowing. These harmful substances can take various forms including molds, dust, pollen, carbon dioxide, and even radioactive compounds such as radon.
Even if air pollutants are invisible to the naked eye, few signs may indicate that your home has sub-par indoor air status. Some of these warning signs are:
Cold-like Symptoms That Won’t Go Away
Poor air quality may trigger respiratory issues in people inside the home. While several symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, itchy throat, teary eyes, and nausea may signal sickness—they couldn’t last for more than two weeks if such is the case.
Besides the duration, check how you and your family feel when spending more time outside the home. If you generally feel better in school and the office, it’s likely that poor air quality is making you feel sick.
To ensure that your home environment is free from air contaminants, have your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system checked and cleaned regularly. Also, check your filters and replace them as often as possible.
The Presence Of Mold And Mildew
While most signs of substandard air quality conditions are invisible, the presence of molds and mildew may indicate that air quality is terrible inside your home. Mold often develops alongside its close but less dangerous relative, mildew. If you are unsure if there is mold in your home or highly suspect, it is always best to order a mold test kit and be certain.
These types of fungi grow from spores and need damp conditions to develop. These sections are often exposed, such as walls and ceilings, or in hidden areas such as crawl spaces. Mold exposure can be dangerous and may cause respiratory issues and allergic reactions. It’s best to hire professionals for crawl space mold removal services to avoid potential health problems.
More Frequent Allergic And Asthma Attacks
Poor indoor quality isn’t only linked to respiratory issues. It may also trigger more frequent attacks in a person suffering from allergies. Pollutants that cause allergic reactions are often naturally occurring inside the home and the environment, such as:
- Dust: Household dust can be from a lot of things: clothing fibers, dead skin cells, soil particles, among many others.
- Mold: Spores can come in contact with your clothes and other items and gain access to your home, endangering the indoor clean air that you breathe.
- Smoke: Smoke-emitting items, for instance, a wood stove or a cigarette, can unquestionably degrade the air quality present indoors.
- Pollen: This is the most common allergen for most people and they’ve also been considered air contaminants because they can be small enough to access the airways.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): VOCs are chemicals emitted by common household and office products such as paints, cleaning supplies, and construction items. Prolonged exposure is likewise linked to respiratory problems and apnea, a sleeping disorder.
If you notice that you’re sneezing a lot or are suffering from an allergic reaction throughout the year, the abovementioned pollutants may be floating around your indoor air.
Unpleasant odors may develop inside your home due to problematic ventilation. This is when air can’t circulate freely which hamper healthy air exchange from the outside. Another probable cause is the presence of pollutants, most especially VOCs. Some volatile chemicals release formaldehyde, which sometimes smells like a pickle. On the other hand, molds often have a musty or earthy odor.
Long-term exposure to VOCs is linked to headaches and dizziness, mood swings, and elevated stress levels. That’s why you must avoid these compounds at all costs. Some contaminants, however, are odorless, for instance, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide.
If you find yourself tossing and turning on your bed and don’t have severe sleep conditions like anemia, air quality status may be compromised inside your home. While there is a myriad of reasons for sleep deprivation, air pollution may be one of them. A study found that individuals are 60% more likely to suffer from sleep disruptions in areas with high air pollution levels.
An allergic reaction typically worsens during the night and may cause sleepless nights as you continue to sneeze and suffer from nasal congestion, as well as watery eyes. In the same manner, VOCs may lead to reduced sleep quality because some mattresses and beddings are known to emit them which leads to discomforts such as irritated nose and throat.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, air pollutants are often odorless and can’t be seen by the naked eye. Hence, your home may have poor indoor air quality without you knowing it. A few signs, however, may signal that the air in your living space has been compromised—such as the ones discussed in this article.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, consider hiring HVAC professionals and other cleaners to sanitize your home.