Did you know that the air in your home can be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside?
Think about the last time you felt sick. Maybe you had a fever, a headache, or just couldn't shake that feeling of being rundown. Often, poor indoor air quality can be to blame and have adverse effects on your health. It can cause or exacerbate respiratory problems, headaches, and fatigue. In some cases, it can even lead to more serious health problems, even lung cancer.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks.
Several factors can contribute to poor indoor air quality. These include mold, dust, humidity, chemicals, or even radon gas. If you suspect your space has issues, there are a few warning signs to look out for.
Cold Symptoms That Don’t Go Away
When you have a cold, it's normal to have symptoms such as coughing and a runny nose for a few days or even a week or two. But if your cold symptoms don't go away or get worse, it could be a sign of poor indoor air quality.
There are a few ways to tell if your cold symptoms are due to poor indoor air quality:
- It may be allergies if you constantly sneeze, cough, or blow your nose. Allergies are often triggered by dust and dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, and other airborne contaminants.
- It could be the flu if you have a fever or body aches along with your cold symptoms. The flu is caused by a virus that thrives in damp conditions.
- If your cold symptoms last more than a week, it could be bronchitis or pneumonia. The causes of these respiratory illnesses include bacteria, viruses, and even mold that thrives in damp, poorly ventilated environments.
- If you have asthma, your cold symptoms may actually be an asthma attack. Airborne pollutants such as dust, smoke, and fumes from chemicals such as cleaning solutions can trigger asthma attacks.
Unexplained Skin Rashes
Do you have a rash that won't go away? You may not realize it, but it could indicate poor indoor air quality. That's right, the very air you're breathing could be causing your skin problems. That's why it's so important to monitor air quality in your living space.
If you have unexplained skin rashes or hives, it's important to seek medical attention and get tested for allergies and sensitivities. There are many possible causes of unexplained skin rashes, including contact dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, urticaria (hives), and others.
If you have a persistent rash that doesn't respond to treatment, it's worth considering the possibility that your indoor air quality is to blame. Many pollutants can cause skin problems, including dust mites, mold spores, and chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene. They can aggravate or even cause these conditions and in some cases, rashes can also lead to secondary infections.
We all know how important a good night's sleep is for our overall health and well-being. One of the most common and overlooked signs of poor air quality is difficulty sleeping. Many pollutants and irritants can cause sleep problems and may be present in your home without you knowing. Measuring and monitoring what’s in your air over time helps you identify issues and correct them.
As homes and buildings become more energy efficient, they're also more airtight. This means the air inside a home or office can become stagnant and full of contaminants.
Dust buildup is one of the most common (and visible) signs of poor indoor air quality. While some dust is inevitable, if you're constantly dusting, need to wipe things down frequently, or your furniture is covered in a thick layer of dust, it's a sign that the air is not filtered correctly.
Dust is more than unsightly; it can also harm your health. Dust particles can contain mold spores, bits of insects, skin cells, hair, soil, bacteria, and even toxic chemicals. Inhaling dust can trigger asthma attacks, allergic reactions, and other respiratory problems.
Hot and Cold Spots
Indoor air quality can be determined by the presence of hot and cold spots in a room. Hot and cold spots are areas where the air temperature is noticeably different from the rest of the room. Several factors can create these areas, including poor insulation, drafts, leaks, and ventilation problems.
Hot and cold spots can indicate problems for several reasons. First, they can be indicative of improper ventilation. The air can become stagnant and stale if a room doesn't have enough openings to allow fresh air to circulate. This can lead to the buildup of pollutants.
Drafts occur when gaps in the doors or windows allow outside air to enter the home. Plus, they can create pockets of stagnant air where pollutants like mold and radon can build up.
What Solutions Are Available?
If you’re experiencing any of the signs listed above, it might be time to closely examine your home’s indoor air quality. SunRADON's lüft, a smart Indoor Air Quality monitor that also detects Radon, can help you do just that.
Our monitors are designed to measure and track some of the most important aspects of your home’s air quality, from humidity and temperature to dangerous chemicals and radon.
By understanding what’s in your air, you can start making changes to improve your family’s health and well-being.