If you’ve had headaches, itchy eyes, or sinus congestion, you probably just chalked it up to a cold or allergies. That could be the case. However, people often fail to consider air quality as a possible cause. Read on to see how the air in your home could be making you sick.
What Causes Bad Air Quality?
According to one article, people spend an estimated 90% of their time indoors. That means it’s crucial that the air we breathe when we’re indoors is clean.
There are many factors that change the air quality in our homes and other buildings. Pet dander, mold spores, and dust mites can build up, especially in the winter. Outdoor pollution can enter through ventilation systems, and moisture can find its way inside.
The things we use to clean and heat our homes can harm indoor air quality, too. The habits and behaviors of occupants also matter. For example, it’s well known that smoking creates a health hazard inside.
How Do I Know If Bad Air Quality Is Making Me Sick?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you may experience symptoms after just one exposure to bad indoor air. Your eyes, nose, and throat may feel irritated. You might feel dizzy or fatigued, and you may have a headache.
Clearly, the symptoms listed above are vague and can be caused by a variety of illnesses. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to when they happen. If you feel better after leaving the building, there’s a good chance your symptoms are caused by bad indoor air quality.
Sometimes, bad indoor air quality causes health problems years after the fact. Repeated exposure to bad air quality over a long period of time also leads to serious health problems for some.
Respiratory diseases, cancer, and heart disease can all be caused by bad indoor air. Since these diseases are often fatal, it’s important to address indoor air quality issues as soon as possible.
What Can You Do About Bad Indoor Air Quality?
There are some easy steps you can take to improve indoor air quality. First, keep your home clean. Vacuuming, clearing clutter, and washing bedding and drapery all cut down on allergens.
Choosing to install hard flooring rather than carpeting can also be helpful. If you do have a carpet, make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter, and use it several times a week.
Change filters in heating and cooling systems regularly and let fresh air in whenever possible. Consider purchasing an air purifier to help clean the air and a dehumidifier if damp areas are a problem.
Bad indoor air quality impacts some people more severely than others. Vulnerable people like children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible.
Many times, the source of bad indoor air quality is invisible. Radon is a gas that can be a problem in some areas. Carbon monoxide is emitted by gas heaters and stoves, leaking chimneys, furnaces, and tobacco products.
Construction materials and furnishings can also pose a danger. If your home was built before the 1980s, it may contain asbestos. Formaldehyde is used in furnishings, building materials, and household products. There are often higher concentrations of formaldehyde indoors. Both formaldehyde and asbestos can cause serious health problems, including cancer.
Seeking Help From A Professional
It’s a good idea to have your home checked by a professional, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with bad indoor air quality. Professionals have the knowledge and equipment to deal with dangerous contaminants like asbestos and radon.
If you need help identifying the source of your bad indoor air quality or in remedying the problem, give ECOS a call. We have a live operator available 24/7, and our equipment is safe for the people and pets in your home.