Investigating Your Indoor Air Quality

Are you and your family showing chronic signs of nagging illness? It could be the quality of the air in your house. Though most homeowners are well aware of pollution outside, they don’t often consider it as a source of problems in the home.

Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality
There are a range of symptoms that might indicate a problem with contamination or pollutants in your home. Here is a list of possible symptoms:

Itchy eyes
Watery eyes
More colds that other people you know
Sinus infections
Chronic headaches

You may not have all of these symptoms but if you notice a general malaise among family members, it is worth investigating your home.

Beside illness, you might notice a range of other troublesome indicators. These can include:

Excess dust and dirt around heating and cooling vents
Poor air circulation
Humid air and the resulting condensation
Damaged chimney or flue
Old, stuffy smell in the house
Odor that won’t go away

Possible Pollutants

There are two places to look if you suspect poor indoor air quality. The first spot is around your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. Contaminants collect in it, and then circulate through your home through the ventilators. If the system does a poor job of circulating air, quality can be diminished.

The second source is pollutants. Here is a partial list:

Carbon monoxide
Volatile organic compounds
Carbon dioxide
Nitrogen dioxide
Pet hair and dander

The Source of the Problem
If your ventilation system isn’t working correctly, the contaminants can’t be pushed out of your home through the natural action of circulating air. Chemicals and other materials give off gases or send out tiny particles that reduce the quality of the air.

As you breathe it in, it can affect your health and comfort. If the situation is left for too long, the result can be long-term damage to your health. Asthma, cancer, respiratory disease and heart problems have been tied to poor indoor air quality.

Many problems can be avoided with good ventilation and air circulation. Without this, pollutants get trapped indoors. Another benefit of good ventilation is lower humidity levels, which inhibits the growth of mold and mildew.

One of the best ways to fix the problem is to get your ventilation system inspected, cleaned, and repaired. This is a job that many commercial companies offer. Look for discounts and arrange to have it done annually. The price you pay is an investment in your family’s health.

Consider installing a whole house fan to increase air circulation.

If you still notice problems, have a professional conduct an indoor air quality assessment. He can recommend remedial action for your home.