3 Signs of an Indoor Air Quality Problem You Can’t Even Notice

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Your air might not be as clean as you think. Even if you’re careful about changing your HVAC filters and cleaning your linens, there are countless ways that contaminants can creep indoors and undo the long hours you’ve spent maintaining your home’s air quality. Luckily, these problems can be remedied if you know where to look. Here are some signs that your home has an air quality issue.

Take a Clue From You

Image via Flickr by NIAID

Has your health changed for the worse lately? Your body may be telling you that the air isn’t so clean. Allergies are an obvious indication, and symptoms like dizziness and trouble breathing may suggest an issue with mold spores.

Of course, this could be connected to other things, like changes to the air you’re breathing at work or a reaction to normal seasonal allergies. If you rule out these culprits and find that you’re still suffering, you may need to pay closer attention to your filtration system or find a new air purifier to mitigate your symptoms.

Pay Attention to Your Environment

You don’t need to wait for your health to deteriorate to identify a problem with your property’s air circulation. Pay attention to your home’s symptoms too. There are plenty of red flags that suggest a problem with air quality. Check for:

  • Inconsistent air distribution.
  • Problems with ventilation.
  • Strange noises coming from your HVAC or ductwork.
  • Changes to your home’s humidity.
  • Dust buildup around the house.
  • Uneven temperatures.
  • Stale odors.

Much like personal allergies and the other conditions that affect you, consider likely causes for what has changed your home environment. For example, the addition of a new pet will obviously stir some things up. But perhaps it’s something simpler, like someone who has been breaking the “no wearing shoes inside” rule. Note that problems with ventilation or uneven temperatures may require you to adjust your filter replacement schedule or have an HVAC professional inspect your system for any problems.

Look for Energy Leaks

Most people conduct an energy audit for the sake of knowing that insulation, door seals, and other aspects of home heating and cooling are functioning. The HVAC system should be able to maintain a comfortable temperature without overworking. However, an energy audit can also help you identify where your air quality is dropping.

This can be done with do-it-yourself tests or with professional assistance. For example, you may have heard of the flicker test, where you hold a lit match or candle up to the seals around doors and windows to see if a draft affects the flame. For a more comprehensive solution, an energy auditor or HVAC specialist can inspect your attic insulation, vents, ductwork, and other areas to check for leaks that may be costing you money on your energy bill and letting contaminants into your home.

With this info in hand, you’re far better equipped to combat pollutants in your home wherever they may lie. Remember these signs that previously went unnoticed, and don’t hesitate to reach out to an HVAC professional if you need help addressing any questions about your air quality.

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