4 Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality

If the indoor air quality in your Port St. Lucie, Florida, home is poor, you could experience asthma attacks, flulike symptoms, and more. Poor indoor air quality could even increase your risk of cancer. Indoor air pollutants like dust, household chemicals, mold, and pet dander are common, and the air inside your home could be more dangerous for your health than the air outside. The most common signs of poor indoor air quality are unexplained health problems, bad smells, dirty air filters or ductwork, and high utility bills.

Unexplained Health Problems

If your health symptoms improve when you leave your home and get worse when you return, you probably have poor indoor air quality. Symptoms could last longer if an outdoor allergen like pollen enters your home. Indoor air pollutants can cause headaches, watery eyes, nosebleeds, fatigue, trouble concentrating, nausea, and more.

If you need to use household chemicals like paint or cleaners, open a window or door for ventilation and take frequent breaks. Don’t store chemicals unless you’ll use them soon. Your indoor air quality can be compromised if you remodeled or had your home treated with pesticides recently.

Bad Odors

Whenever you return home, if you notice unusual odors or that your home has a stale, musty smell, you could have a mold problem. Mold usually grows in moist areas like a leaky roof or your shower. Use a dehumidifier to prevent this problem and make your home more comfortable. Exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom can remove bad smells and help lower the humidity in your home.

Dirty Air Filters or Ductwork

Dirt, dust, pollen, pet dander, and other indoor air pollutants will accumulate in your air filter. The filter can then spread contaminants instead of making your air cleaner. Check your air filter once per month and change it when it gets dirty. If you have allergies or other health problems, change your filter more often and clean your home regularly to improve your indoor air quality.

A clean air filter keeps debris from affecting your heater or air conditioner. Many smart thermostats provide reminders for you to check your air filter. Some thermostats can even monitor the air pressure near your filter and let you know when you need to change or clean the filter.

The air inside your home travels through your ductwork several times per day. Dirty ductwork lowers your indoor air quality. Pollutants like mold and pest droppings in your ducts can spread easily to the rest of your home. Check your ductwork in fall and spring by opening an air register. Then, touch the inside of the duct with a damp cloth. If the cloth is dirty or you can see mold, a professional should clean your ductwork. You should also check your bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans and clean them when they’re dirty.

High Energy Bills

If your utility bills are higher than usual, a dirty air filter or leaks in your ductwork could be contributors. Dirty air filters keep air from flowing through your HVAC system efficiently. If your ductwork has leaks or is not insulated properly, hot or cold air won’t reach many of your rooms. This causes uncomfortable drafts and warm spots in your home.

These problems force your HVAC system to work harder, shortening its life. Leaks in your ductwork also spread contaminants, allowing dust, mold, and other hazards to move in and out of the ductwork. You should check your attic or basement’s insulation at least once per year for leaks that could increase your utility bill. Some leaks can also cause excess moisture that can lead to mold growth.

Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechanical, LLC is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with over 25 years of experience. We can install, maintain, and repair your HVAC system and improve your indoor air quality. Call us at (772) 905-3358 for more information about our services.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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