Today, we’re staying on the subject of indoor air quality (IAQ) and continuing our discussion of how to stay healthy at home and at work.
So, we already know that exposure to poor indoor air quality can lead to significant, if not dangerous, health effects, especially for people who spend a lot of time indoors, those with allergies, children and the elderly.
But what causes problems with IAQ? And how do you know you have a problem if there are no obvious signs? Furthermore, what can you do to “fix” poor indoor air quality?
This blog will answer all of those questions and, hopefully, allow you to be more conscious of your indoor environment and lead a healthier life.
Common signs of an air quality problem
There are several ways to know if your indoor air is compromised. Sometimes, people notice unusual odours or other physical changes in their home (e.g. stains on walls, rotting wood, bubbling paint, etc.). Other times, occupants of the home experience sudden symptoms that they’ve never had before. Still other times, homeowners are completely unaware that any air quality problem exists.
Often, all of these warning signs go either unheeded or completely unnoticed, which is why indoor air quality issues have such prominent effects on our health.
Here are just a few ways that poor IAQ can affect us, physically, psychologically and emotionally.
- itchy or watery eyes,
- coughing and/or sneezing,
- breathing problems,
- itchy or irritated skin,
- hair loss,
- difficulty concentrating,
- anxiety, and
If you find that you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is worth investigating with an air quality test. You should also check your home for signs of moisture, as this provides a fertile environment for harmful molds and bacteria.
Diagnosing the cause
To diagnose an air quality issue, we look at the big picture (i.e. all of the signs and symptoms) and we identify the most likely culprit—whether it be mold, asbestos, or chemicals like VOCs, formaldehyde, lead and radon. Once we have an idea of what it could be, we use air quality testing to confirm this hypothesis. Read more about different types of air quality tests.
What’s lowering your IAQ?
Among a number of factors that can lower the indoor air quality of your home are:
- volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paint, furniture, household cleaners, candles, etc.
- cigarette smoke,
- dust, pollen & other allergens, and
- mold spores.
The solution to poor indoor air quality
So what can we do to combat the spread of these disruptive allergens and improve our quality of life?
One solution is to address the individual sources of the air pollution, i.e. dealing with a shedding dog or refraining from smoking inside the house. However, since many pollutants aren’t as easy to identify or they require demanding changes to our lifestyles, the most effective way of improving IAQ is through ensuring proper ventilation.
Whether you realize it or not, ventilation is the key to a healthy home. It’s one of those things that often goes unnoticed but that makes the biggest impact on how you look and feel.
The main function of ventilation systems is to promote airflow within indoor spaces like homes and offices. They supply you with fresh air and move stale air back out.
Some modern ventilation units, like the EZ Breathe, take it one step further and even remove harmful molds, bacteria, viruses, pollen and allergens from the air—not to mention strong, persistent odours.
If high humidity is a known problem in your home, these types of ventilation systems can even act as dehumidifiers, controlling moisture levels as well as maintaining comfortable room temperature throughout your home.
With no maintenance required, quiet operation and a sleek, modern design, the EZ Breathe is a quick and easy way to ensure the health of everyone in your household. And given the amount of time we spend indoors, especially during the long winter months, the peace of mind you get knowing that your home is well-ventilated is well worth the investment. Learn more about home ventilation today!