Are your seasonal allergies and asthma getting worse? Have you noticed more dust on the mantle or knickknacks? Maybe something smells a little funny… or off?
If you said yes to any -- or worse, all -- of these questions, you may need check out your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ), which can affect your family’s health. To avoid enhanced symptoms, check out Warner Service’s warning signs:
- You are getting sick. If you cannot breathe easily in your home, it may be because of seasonal allergies, but homeowners should discount the fact that these unwanted symptoms are coming from your home’s poor indoor air quality. Other symptoms can include frequent headaches, itchy and/or watery eyes, a runny nose, skin irritation, nausea, coughing/wheezing, and more.
- Your home has poor ventilation and circulation, leading to condensation on the windows and/or mold in moist areas like the bathroom. While it is important to caulk any cracks and hidden crevices in the frames of the doors and windows, homeowners should also ensure that their home has proper ventilation through ceiling or electric fans and insulation. This will also lead to more even temperatures and humidity levels.
- The floor is dirty, and the furniture is dusty. Allergens and pathogens from pet dander, pollen, hair, and other particulates can accumulate in dust particles that end up on the floor and pieces of everyday furniture, and even these microscopic dust mites can cause poor IAQ.
- You use too many chemical products. If you find yourself always reaching for some aerosol product to clean, this is the problem. Duster, artificial fragrances, bathroom and kitchen tile cleaner, disinfectant, window and glass cleaner, laundry products, are derived from petroleum products and contain phthalates, a group of chemicals that disrupts hormones.
- Something smells funny -- and you do not know why. The latter part of that sentence is the most important. If you notice odors without reason, it could be due to contaminants in the air, dirty air filters and ducts, or a buildup of humidity. This type of problem has especially bad effects on the IAQ as contaminants are being spread by the very system that is supposed to be keeping the air clean.
- You don’t have smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. According to the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code requires “as a minimum that smoke alarms be installed inside every sleep room (even for existing homes) in addition to requiring them outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.” It also requires additional alarms for larger homes, but many older houses do not abide by this code, which can lead to poor indoor air quality from factors like kitchen and cigarette smoke.
- You just completed a home renovation or repair. If you have recently repainted or replaced the flooring, then your home’s air purity is expected to decrease. The chemicals can collect in the HVAC system and be recirculated throughout your home. Read up on Warner Service’s post, 11 Common Renovation Mistakes (And How You Can Avoid Them) for more information on protecting your home’s IAQ.
It is important to keep an eye on your home’s indoor air quality for the sake of your family’s health. Be careful with renovations, weekly cleaning routines, and health concerns. If you notice any of the above warning signs, test for poor IAQ and make the necessary changes. For more tips, click below to download our list of tricks on how to keep a breathable home, including information about our new product, the Air Scrubber by Aerus: