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May 21, 2020
Indoor air quality, or IAQ, is extremely important not only to the health of your home, but to the health of its occupants. Poor IAQ can lead to a number of indoor health issues, including:
Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
Headaches, dizziness, and fatigue
Asthma or allergy-like symptoms
Coughing and sneezing
These short term problems can worsen over time, and long term exposure can even lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, if the causes are left untreated.
The problem is that many symptoms of poor indoor air quality are similar to that of a common cold or a virus, and so people have trouble connecting the health problems they’re experiencing to something wrong in their home.
Have you been asking yourself any of these common questions lately? If so, the condition of your home could be to blame.
Why Am I Sneezing More at Home?
Sneezing is your body’s attempt to expel germs and pollutants from your body. In your home, any number of things can make you sneeze more than you normally would, like VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) created from cigarette smoking, household cleaning products, paint, air fresheners, and more. If your home isn’t properly ventilated, the concentration levels of VOCs could be making you sick.
Why Do I Get Headaches in My House?
If you’ve been feeling dizzy, nauseous, or just getting frequent headaches inside your house, have you checked your combustion appliances recently? Combustion appliances can include gas stoves, furnaces, wood stoves, and even your water heater, and when they aren’t working properly, they can release carbon monoxide into the air.
Carbon monoxide, or CO, can’t be smelled, seen, or tasted, but it’s very dangerous to breathe—an average of 375 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning every year in the United States. Combustion safety testing is just of the inspections included in a home energy audit, and can make sure your appliances are operating correctly and safely.
3. Why is My Kid’s Asthma Worse At Home?
People with asthma are often more sensitive than others when it comes to airborne allergens and pollutants, so if you notice that your asthma symptoms seem to be worse when you’re in your home, your body is likely trying to alert you to indoor air quality issues!
In addition to VOCs and carbon monoxide, your indoor breathing air could have dust, pollen, pet dander, and more circulating through your HVAC system, making it harder to breathe. If there are cracks and gaps in your home’s exterior, they could be letting outdoor pollutants in.
4. Why Does My House Smell Musty?
Does your basement or bathroom constantly have a musty, damp smell? What about the rest of your house? Moisture issues are common in homes, but if they aren’t taken care of properly with air sealing, insulation, and ventilation, water leaks can affect your indoor air quality, as they create the perfect environment for mold to grow, which can both damage the structure of your home and also lead to health problems.
5. Can Old Insulation Make My Allergies Worse?
Aging insulation isn’t just a hazard for your heating and cooling bills! Many types of insulation can grow mold if exposed to moisture, and it’s also where outdoor critters like squirrels, mice, and insects can nest and create harmful waste that can make its way into your indoor air.
6. Could Too Much Humidity in My House Make Me Sick?
Ideally, the humidity in your home should be between 40 and 60%. Too much humidity, whether it’s from water leaking in through a crack in your building’s exterior or as the result of steam from everyday cooking and showering, can lead to the mold issues we mentioned earlier.
Help Improve Your Indoor Air Quality with Home Energy Medics
If your health has taken a noticeable dip this spring after spending more time than usual inside your home due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a good opportunity for you to look into the quality of your air. At Home Energy Medics, we offer indoor air quality services and solutions that fight back against health issues related to indoor air and low comfort in your house and help those IAQ problems from returning, including:
Find out how you can take steps to help improve the health of you and your family inside your home—call Home Energy Medics today to schedule a home energy audit now.