Detecting Poor Indoor Air Quality
There’s no question the air quality in your home significantly impacts your family’s health and comfort.
You might think your indoor home air is cleaner than the air outside. After all, the inside air is constantly filtered as it moves through your AC system.
And with the windows closed, you keep any polluted air from entering the home.
However, the EPA has found indoor air pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor air pollutants. Therefore, in most instances, the air inside is more harmful than the air outside the home.
Poor Indoor Air Quality Symptoms
Poor indoor air quality can cause health effects like those of the common cold or influenza.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it could be a result of indoor air pollutants. Below are a few examples:
- Skin dryness and irritation
- Cough and congestion
- Respiratory issues
- Fatigue and dizziness
- Hyperactive allergies
Keep in mind, if left unchecked, these symptoms could develop into chronic conditions affecting your long-term health and well-being.
Always consult your doctor with any concerns.
To determine if your symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution, pay attention to the time and place the symptoms occur.
If the symptoms fade or disappear when away from home and come back when you return, an effort should be made to identify indoor air sources that may be potential causes.
Depending on the individual, poor air quality symptoms can appear after a singular exposure or may not appear for months or even years. The very young and elderly are most susceptible to potential health issues from indoor air pollution exposure.
Causes Of Poor Indoor Air Quality
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are twelve leading causes for poor indoor air quality. Below are a few examples.
- Tobacco smoke (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, secondhand smoke)
- Allergens (pet dander, pollen, dust mites)
- Biological contaminants (bacteria, mildew, viruses)
- Household cleaners
- Radon (a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas)
- Carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas with no smell or taste)
- VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
NOTE: It is important to note in the tropics of SW Florida, we are very susceptible to high indoor humidity which can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Too much humidity can cause a host of issues, including fungi and mildew build-up.
Therefore, we recommend your indoor relative humidity be set below 70%—ideally between 45% and 60%.
Tackling Poor Indoor Air Quality
The first step in the battle against poor indoor air quality is to find the source of the pollution and reduce your exposure.
Second, look for ways to increase ventilation. But be cautious not to let this lead to higher energy costs. Opening windows and doors (when weather permits), operating ceiling fans, bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans are ways to remove contaminants and increase outdoor air ventilation.
Third, invest in a whole-home in-duct air purifier, like the Reme Halo. The Reme Halo is an in-duct air purifier proven to eliminate indoor air pollutants.
Indoor Air Quality Advice
We are here to help. If you have concerns about your indoor air quality, contact us for the next step. We can help you determine the causes, so you can have peace of mind and breathe easier.
For more than 20 years, we’ve built a successful culture on educating our customers to make well-informed decisions. It is important to us to serve you with honesty and integrity, every time.
Contact us for advice about your indoor air quality or anything HVAC.