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The Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Published: December 29, 2020

With COVID-19 keeping many of us at home and locked indoors more than usual, we need to make sure the air we are breathing is safe and keeping us healthy. Poor indoor air quality is not something you can see or hear, but it could silently be impacting your health and the health of everyone in your home.

Unless there is smoke in the air, you cannot see if the air in your home contains something that is diminishing its quality. But while we often cannot see poor air quality, we almost always feel its effects. A few signs of poor indoor air quality are dry/irritated eyes, throat, nose or skin, headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, hypersensitivity/allergies, dizziness, nausea, sinus congestion and coughing or sneezing.

Seeing as the symptoms listed above are common cold and flu symptoms, it can be tricky to determine if they are actually being caused by the air quality of your home. If after leaving the building with possible air quality issues you begin feeling better or your symptoms fade, you can attribute the symptoms to poor air quality. If you think your home is suffering from poor indoor air quality, here are a few possible causes.

Causes of poor indoor air quality in Alabama

There are a variety of things that can pollute air quality, some are obvious and some may surprise you. Here’s a list of common indoor air pollutants:

  • Fuel-burning combustion appliance:
    • Wood heater
    • Fireplace inserts
  • Tobacco products that produce smoke:
    • Cigarettes
    • E-cigarettes
    • Vapes
    • Cigars
    • Tobacco pipes
  • Building materials and furnishings:
    • Deteriorated asbestos-containing insulation
    • Newly installed flooring, upholstery or carpet
    • Cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products
  • Products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies
  • Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices
  • Excess moisture
  • Outdoor sources such as:
    • Radon
    • Pesticides
    • Outdoor air pollution.

The two most important things to consider about air pollutants when determining their severity and whether immediate action is required is the amount of pollutant the source is emitting and how hazardous those emissions are.

For example, products like cleaning supplies can emit pollutants more or less continuously depending on how much product is used. This makes cleaning supplies less hazardous to your home’s air quality for a prolonged period. Just stop using the cleaning product for a while until the irritating pollutant clears. But if your gas stove is improperly adjusted and emitting significant amounts of carbon monoxide into your home, then that becomes extremely hazardous to you and all people residing in the home.

Who can help in Birmingham, Alabama?

The experts at Service Tech, Inc. Heating and Air Conditioning in Birmingham, Alabama can help locate the source of air pollution in your home. Whether your home has poor air quality due to inadequate ventilation or a newly installed carpet, the Service Tech team will get to the bottom of it! Call, text or email the Service Tech team 24/7 to ask questions or schedule a consultation.

Click here to learn more about our indoor air quality services.

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