What are the Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality in the Home?
Air quality can make or break the comfort of a home. Good indoor air quality makes a house feel refreshing and healthy, while poor indoor air quality often results in sickness and discomfort.
Defining Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is simply the state of the air in and around your home (or another building). It is most often contaminated when something unsafe is being cycled through the HVAC system. This can be the result of dirty vents, pest infestations, carbon monoxide leaks, and more. It is important to keep pollutants in the air at a minimum to avoid health risks.
What are some common causes of poor indoor air quality?
There are a number of pollutants that can lower air quality, including the following:
- Dirt, dust, and debris
- Toxic paints and cleaners
- Tobacco and cigarette smoke
- Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide
What are the symptoms of poor indoor air quality?
Often, homeowners blame outdoor allergies for symptoms that indoor pollutants are causing. Consider the following:
- Trouble breathing
- Dry skin and itchy eyes
- Coughing and sneezing
- Overactive allergies
What are the immediate effects on your body?
The immediate effects mostly include the symptoms listed above. They irritate the nose, eyes, throat, skin, and tend to reflect the tendencies of a cold or of allergies. Though uncomfortable, they are treatable and, more than likely, will not cause much damage in the long run.
To treat immediate effects, you can use standard allergy medication, eye drops, lotions, etc. Of course, the most important thing is to have your ductwork cleaned to ensure that fresh air is being cycled through your home.
Unfortunately, poor indoor air quality can cause long-term effects as well.
What are the long-term effects on your body?
Long-term effects may not show up until years after the initial problem; however, they can include serious respiratory illnesses, heart conditions, and even cancer. While a little bit of dust in the air is not likely to kill you within a week, constantly living in a home with poor indoor air quality can be detrimental to your health.
If you have noticed an increase in allergy symptoms or an overall discomfort in the air, it is a good idea to check on your indoor air quality. Taking the time to clean or repair your vents is good for your health and wellbeing.