How Poor Indoor Air Quality Negatively Affects Health
The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is an essential health and safety concern in the home. Dirty air can cause a variety of health symptoms, from mild to severe, as well as the worsening of health issues that may already be present.
Good indoor air quality isn’t hard to achieve, and can significantly increase the health and lives of everyone living in the home. If anyone is experiencing any of the following symptoms, see a doctor and contact a local HVAC technician.
Symptom #1: Dryness and Irritation
One of the main issues that comes with poor indoor air quality is dry air in the home. This dry air impacts all of the body, leading to dry eyes, nasal passages, skin, throat, etc. A great way to counteract this is with the appropriate use of a humidifier.
Humidifiers are designed to increase the air’s moisture level, which should be between 30% and 50% according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). They can be purchased for each individual room in the home or can be added to the home’s HVAC system.
As the moisture in the home increases, most people notice much less itchy skin and eyes. If more help is needed, topical products like lotions and moisturizing eye drops can also work. However, it’s much better to find and treat the root of the problem by calling an HVAC technician to look into all of the options.
Symptom #2: Coughing and Sneezing
The systemic dryness that is caused by bad indoor air quality can also lead to chronic coughing and sneezing. This becomes a vicious cycle as it furthers the irritation that dryness also causes.
In addition to being a pain and a general annoyance, coughing and sneezing are also one of the leading ways that germs are spread. This is especially concerning during cold and flu season, where viruses and bacteria can cause serious health concerns. A humidifier is also helpful in these situations.
Coughing and sneezing can also be caused by worsening asthma and allergy symptoms. If people in the home are starting to cough or sneeze more and a humidifier doesn’t seem to be working, check the HVAC filter. They should be changed on a regular basis, and more frequently during allergy season. Dirty filters cause allergens to continue to circulate around the home, make asthma and allergy symptoms worse.
Symptom #3: Sensitive Sinuses
Indoor air quality can also cause sinus sensitivity. While it doesn’t directly make the sinuses more sensitive, the constant inflammation does make them much more tender.
The sinuses are located all throughout the head, so the symptoms of sinusitis can be fairly vague. They generally include headaches, jaw and toothache, pain in and around the eyes, earaches, fever, fatigue, and sore throats.
In addition to using a humidifier and maintaining the air filters in the HVAC system, homeowners should also consider an air purifier. Air purifiers, like humidifiers, can be purchased individually or added to the HVAC system. They work to trap pet dander, allergens, dirt, dust mites, etc. and filter them out of the air before they even reach the HVAC’s air filter. This can help make the home’s indoor air quality the absolute best and healthiest it can possibly be.