A home with poor indoor air quality may or may not look the same as any other. But air quality issues can be avoided by cleaning AC, furnace, and other HVAC filters; inspecting air ducts; and lowering humidity levels. Cleaner carpets and rugs help too, as they can catch all kinds of dust and dirt that’s in the air. By following all the steps to improving air quality in your San Antonio home, you can avoid the following signs and symptoms:
1. Persistent Cold Symptoms
If you’re not aware of an air quality issue, you could mistake several giveaways for the common cold or flu. The following symptoms can be associated with a single exposure to an indoor air pollutant, or prolonged and/or multiple exposures:
- Runny nose/sneezing
- Itchy eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Sinus congestion
A reason for suspicion is if these symptoms last for a week or two, or longer. And if you notice them only at home (or they get worse inside) and not while out or at work or school, it’s time for an indoor air quality check.
2. Respiratory Conditions
Polluted air increases the chances of an asthma attack in someone who suffers from asthma. The symptoms include difficulty breathing as well as wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. They can be triggered by endotoxins from mold and bacteria, ozone, and particulates. Long term exposure to inhaled indoor air pollutants can also lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is characterized by chronic coughing, fatigue, frequent respiratory infections, and leg/foot swelling.
Exposure to secondhand smoke, pollen, mites, asbestos, radon, dander, and combustible pollutants can exacerbate COPD. Some pollutants can even increase the risk of lung cancer with long-term exposure, especially smoke, radon, and volatile organic compounds.
3. Skin Rashes
A variety of pollutants can cause redness, irritation, or dry skin. Dryness can lead to cracked skin, which can increase the risk of bleeding and infections. If you don’t know why this is happening and haven’t found any other cause, poor indoor air quality should be the next place to look.
4. Poor Sleep Quality
Studies have found that people living in environments where indoor air pollutants are prevalent are more likely to experience sleep difficulties. But pollutants aren’t the only factor. Temperature and humidity issues can affect sleep as well, so underlying HVAC issues may need to be addressed.
5. Cardiovascular Disease
Indoor air pollution can also wreak havoc on your heart and cardiovascular system. Some pollutants (such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide) can promote blood clotting, disrupt the electrical function of your heart, and impede movement of blood vessels. Indoor pollution can thus be putting your life at risk.
6. Signs Around Your Home
- Dust: If dust is building up around air vents, or filters are quickly becoming clogged, pollution may be unusually high. You may need a more efficient filter to capture more dust and particulates.
- Unpleasant Odors: Can originate from stagnant air, dirty air ducts, or growth of mold, bacteria, and other biological elements in your HVAC system. A buildup of dust, dander, and pollen can lead to odors as well.
- Room-to-Room Temperature Variations: If air isn’t circulating properly, you might notice some spots are hotter or cooler. Your home should have a consistent temperature. If not, the HVAC system may be improperly sized, ducts may be clogged, or your cooling system may be poorly maintained.
Schedule an Indoor Air Quality Assessment
Investigating issues with your indoor air quality can be a challenge. The cause can be a renovation, a ventilation system problem, or a chemical that you are using. If you can’t pinpoint a reason, contact a professional to perform air testing. They can perform a full series of observations to determine the types of pollutants present and why they are there.
Elmer’s Home Services can check your home or building and address air pollution with various products and solutions, ranging from high-quality filters to air duct sealing. We are committed to your well-being, comfort, and health. If you suspect an indoor air quality problem and live in the San Antonio area, call 210-333-5637 today to book an appointment.