Can the Air Quality in Your Home Affect Your Health?

Has your family been coughing, sneezing, wheezing or getting sick constantly this year? It may be more than a cold or the flu. It might be the air in your home causing your symptoms. Exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. When considering how much time we spend indoors in the winter—about 90 percent of our day—you can see how important indoor air quality (IAQ) is to your health.

What are symptoms of poor IAQ?

There are several symptoms you and your family may experience due to poor IAQ, including:

  • Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and skin
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hypersensitivity and allergies
  • Sinus congestion
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

What causes poor IAQ

Poor IAQ can be caused by a variety of factors. Here are some of the most common:

  • Asbestos
  • Bacteria
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Cleansers
  • Dust
  • Fiberglass
  • Formaldehyde
  • Fungi
  • Glues
  • Mold
  • Paints
  • Pesticides
  • Solvents
  • Tobacco smoke

As you can see, there are a lot of potential environmental indoor contaminants, and most homes have at least a few of these.

What can you do to improve the IAQ in your home?

While poor IAQ can be a serious problem, there are usually simple solutions. By making a few changes to your home environment and routine, you can significantly improve the air quality in your space. Here are a few things you can try:

  • Let the outdoor air in: As mentioned earlier, outdoor air is often cleaner than indoor air. So whenever possible, open up your windows and let your home “air” out. The filtration of outdoor air can clear away many indoor air contaminants.
  • Keep it clean: Vacuuming once or twice a week can help reduce the dust in your home. If you have pets, you should be vacuuming more. It’s also worthwhile to invest in a vacuum that has a good air filtration system, so you are not just blowing the dust you vacuum up back into the air.
  • Take the plants outside: If you have indoor plants, you may want to move them outside. While plants can help purify the air, they can also become a source of mold and mildew. If you really want to keep plants to enjoy in your home, consider switching to air plants or other species that don’t require moist dirt to stay alive.
  • Change your filters: As your local source for professional heating repair in Mesa, AZ, we cannot stress the importance of changing your filters enough. Filters are an inexpensive way to not only keep the air in your home clean, but to extend the life of your HVAC system as well.

If you think the air in your home may be negatively impacting your health, a few simple changes can help reduce the risk if poor IAQ in your home. If you think your home may need some professional care, be sure to call PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air for air conditioning and heating repair in Mesa, AZ.