Breathing Troubles? Signs of Bad Home Air

Is your breathing bordering on distress? Do you feel discomfort within your own home? Then your house’s indoor air quality may be the culprit. A 2014 study in Environmental Health Perspectives stated that indoor levels of pollutants may be two to five times, and occasionally more than 100 times, higher than outdoor pollutant levels. This makes it crucially important for us to recognize the signs of bad home air and take the necessary corrective actions.

The Importance of Good Indoor Air Quality

Good indoor air quality is essential for maintaining our health. The air you breathe inside your home should be free from pollutants like dust, mold spores, and harmful gasses. To improve home air quality, it’s important to reduce sources of pollution. Exposure to these airborne nuisances can trigger a range of respiratory problems such as asthma, allergies, lung diseases and longer heal times for colds and infections.

Consistent Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions such as sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose or skin rashes are usually seasonal, yet if you experience them persistently indoors over different seasons, consider this as a warning sign.

Enhanced Asthma Symptoms

If you find your asthma symptoms worsening when at home, your indoor air quality could be the cause. Increases in coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath should alert you.

Frequent Headaches

Recurrent headaches are often associated with an unhealthy indoor environment. They can be brought on by the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals found in many household products that can easily become airborne.

Persistent Fatigue or Dizziness

A constant state of fatigue or dizziness while at home could be another indicator of poor indoor air quality. These symptoms often dissipate when you spend time away from the house.

Unpleasant Smells

Unusual or unpleasant smells can be a valid sign of bad home air. They can be due to mold, mildew, dust mites, and bacteria which wait in nooks and crannies and lurk in your air supply.

Mold Spots and Humidity

Visible mold spots on walls or heavy condensation on windows signal a moisture problem, which indicates poor ventilation—a key contributor to indoor air pollution.

Frequent Illnesses

Falling sick more often with either the flu or cold, can be an indication of bad indoor air. These illnesses occur due to viruses and bacteria that survive longer in polluted environments.

Persistent Cough or Cold Symptoms

If your cough or cold symptoms do not seem to go away, this could very well be an effect attributed to polluted indoor air.

Dry Throat or Skin

Dry throat or skin can equally point towards poor indoor air quality. Such symptoms are especially prevalent during winter months when heating systems are known to decrease humidity levels indoors leading to dryer air.

Poor Ventilation

Poor ventilation is one of the major causes of unhealthy indoor air quality. Signs indicating inadequate ventilation could include stuffiness, a lack of fresh air, feelings of suffocation or stale air.

Poor Sleep Quality

Bad sleeping quality or continual interruptions during sleep might hint towards unhealthy home surroundings. It could be due to the lack of oxygen in the room, allergic reactions causing discomforts or dryness due to reduced humidity levels.

Visible Dust or Dirt

If dust buildup is visible in your home, particularly on the ventilation systems, it could mean that your home’s air filter might be failing. This in turn could be contributing to poor indoor air quality.

Ongoing Throat and Eye Irritation

Chronic throat and eye irritation even when not suffering from a cold, allergies or any other medical condition potentially indicate unhealthy indoor air quality.

Decreased Focus or Concentration

Poor indoor air quality might affect your cognitive abilities. If you find yourself losing the ability to focus or concentrate while at home, unhealthy air may be to blame.

A Healthier Home

Breathe better, live better. Your well-being depends on the quality of air at the place you spend most of your time—home. Awareness of these signs should guide you towards making relevant changes. So, next time you think about home improvements, consider ways to improve your indoor air quality too. Because nothing speaks of comfort like a breath of fresh clean air. Remember, every breath counts.