Signs Of Poor Indoor Air Quality

February 4, 2021
family poor air quality

People often worry about what they consume, but only a few feel concerned about indoor air quality. Since humans spend much time indoors, the air condition in your house can significantly affect your health and comfort.

It’s good to note that air pollutants aren’t always outdoors. Your daily activities can lead to a buildup of contaminants throughout the house. The most common indoor pollutants include fuel-burning combustion appliances, building materials, household cleaning products, and tobacco.

Also, outdoor air toxins from pesticides, pollen, dust, and radon can seep into your house. It would be best to address air condition issues as early as possible to prevent further damage. Pay attention to the following symptoms associated with poor indoor air quality.

1. Quick Accumulation of Dirt on Surfaces

Most dirt particles appear somewhat heavier than air, and they tend to land on surfaces rather than remain suspended. One main sign of poor indoor conditions is an excessive accumulation of dust. It mainly happens in areas with high airflow, like around the wall or near the vents. Further, look out for the presence of pet dander and hair throughout the house.

If you regularly clean your home and still spot dirt particles on the furniture and floor, you might have a faulty HVAC unit that recirculates dirt. You can consider changing the air filters, but if the problem persists, you should seek professional help in choosing a more advanced filter to capture more contaminants. Also, duct cleaning could be necessary.

2. You Begin to Notice Bad Odors

Another way to detect poor indoor quality is awful smells that don’t go away for some time. For instance, if you can smell your previous night’s dinner, it means that the house has poor air circulation. The decomposition of other contaminants and pest infestations can also lead to unpleasant smells.

Move near your HVAC vent to determine if you can smell any musty odors. These smells usually occur due to mold accumulations. As mold grows, it releases volatile compounds that contaminate the air. You’re more likely to notice such odors when you come back after a week away from your home, especially when there’s stagnant air. If you detect such signs, cleaning your ductwork will help refresh the air once more.

3. Your Family Members Record Frequent Illnesses

When more people in your house begin to express similar cold and flu symptoms, it’s a clear sign of poor air quality. These symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, and a running nose. Such illnesses can occur due to exposure to dust pollen, mites, bacteria, or viruses. Further, if you often get a lingering headache while at home, it could be caused by frequent exposure to pesticides and cleaning products’ particles in the air.

In extreme cases, chemical particles in the air can affect your lungs, causing bronchitis or pneumonia. Even worse, long-term exposure to poor indoor air quality can lead to lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and cardiovascular illness. To avoid such cases, have the air system inspected and cleaned by a professional.

4. Increased Allergic Symptoms

People with compromised immune systems suffer more from poor indoor air quality. If allergic symptoms begin to appear frequently and out of season, you need to check your air conditioner. These contaminants affect the most vulnerable body parts, like the mucus membrane. As a result, you’ll begin to notice watery eyes, running nose, itchiness, and burning sensations around the eyes, nose, throat, mouth, and tongue. Other people will also experience frequent nose bleeding.

Accumulation of contaminants in the indoor environment can also lead to coughing, sneezing, and increased respiratory issues. Such problems significantly affect asthmatic individuals, young children, and elderly family members.

Soon after asthmatic individuals breathe in polluted air, they begin to show signs of wheezing and breathing difficulties, which results in severe asthmatic attacks. As a result, they may need emergency hospitalization, causing them to miss work or school. To prevent this, change the air filters often and talk to your air conditioning experts about the possible solutions.

5. Excessive Skin Dryness and Irritation

Poor indoor air conditions can also cause skin irritations. Your skin may begin to crack, peel, or accumulate rashes or red spots. People with acne or eczema may notice aggravated symptoms, too. Others may begin to experience unexplained skin dryness.

If you can’t pinpoint any other cause for these skin conditions, look into your home’s air quality. Should you see such symptoms, have your heating and cooling unit checked to ensure it’s working correctly.

6. Difficulty Sleeping

If you immediately begin to notice low sleep efficiency, you may want to check the indoor air quality. Prolonged exposure to nitrogen dioxide from unvented combustion processes can lead to sleep difficulty. Also, a room’s temperature and humidity level can directly affect the quality of your sleep. Additionally, sinuses, throat, and nose irritations disrupt naps.

7. Humidity Buildup

A humid environment leads to moisture accumulation that attracts mold growth. To detect mold issues, look out for green or black spots around the sink, tub, or other surfaces regularly in contact with water. High humidity could signify that your air conditioning unit is struggling, and you’ll need to call in professional assistance.

On the other hand, low moisture levels can result in dry skin, itchiness, and sinuses. Still, low moisture levels may cause your furniture to experience warping. The comfortable humidity level should be between 30% and 50%. Fortunately, you can resolve this issue by using humidifiers or dehumidifiers.

8. Inconsistent Airflow

Hot and cold spots occur when there’s an insufficient flow of air throughout the house. If your HVAC unit can’t maintain a comfortable temperature and humidity levels in all rooms, you’ll likely experience uneven air distribution. It could be that you have a tiny unit that can’t meet your house’s cooling and heating needs.

Other issues like leaky ductwork can also increase the level of contaminants in your indoor air. The air coming in through these ducts doesn’t go through the filters or dehumidifiers. Furthermore, a poorly set fan speed or faulty blower causes air circulation problems.

If some areas in your house experience uneven temperature, chances are the air in those rooms isn’t filtered as well. As a result, it may contain contaminants and irritants. In this case, have a technician examine your unit to determine the cause of inconsistent airflow and fix it.

Conclusion

You must continuously monitor your indoor environment to keep your home’s occupants healthy and comfortable. When you notice any of the above signs, sort out the ventilation issues by investing in high-quality dehumidifiers and HVAC units. It’s also essential that you have a professional install them for optimum functionality.

If you’re looking for an effective way to improve your indoor air quality, reach out to Air Patrol Air Conditioning, Heating & Fireplaces. We can run multiple tests to determine the severity and causes of the issue. Once we identify the problem, we’ll develop the best approach to solve and restore your home’s air quality and comfort.

We have a team of experts serving Denton, Allen, South Lake, Richardson, and the surrounding areas. Thanks to our vast experience, we have what it takes to keep you comfortable and safe. You can reach out to us for air quality testing and analysis, HVAC air conditioning installation, and servicing. We also do electric and gas fireplace installations. To request our services, call us today to schedule an appointment.