There aren’t many aspects of your home that can affect you as often as the quality of the air inside of it. Every 3 to 5 seconds, you take a breath. All day, and most importantly all night, any harmful particles that are floating throughout your living space will make their way into the lungs of you and your family, potentially causing serious health concerns. Of course, these particles are impossible to see with the naked eye, so how can you tell if your family is suffering from poor indoor air quality (also commonly referred to as IAQ)?
Here are five signs to look out for— straight from our BurtonWright IAQ experts — that will help you determine if you are suffering from poor indoor air quality. And if you think your Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale, Rogers or Elkin home might be at the heart of your family’s health issues, take advantage of our special indoor air quality test offer: a complimentary IAQ Analysis and blower door testing!
1. You’re Sick All. The. Time.
One of the first indications of poor indoor air quality in your home will be your symptoms. Pay attention to your seasonal allergies. Have they stopped being seasonal, and are more like “year-round” allergies? Outdoor pollen, ragweed, and burning bush are common scapegoats when sinuses start to flare up, but if your symptoms do not match up with the pollutants outside, it is very likely your home is at the heart of your symptoms. Other symptoms can include:
Dry skin, eyes, & throat
Coughing & sneezing
You may also notice your symptoms are alleviated when you leave the house for the day, and return after you settle back into the evening routine.
2. Your Home Smells
With a yearly average relative humidity of 70.9% here in Arkansas, mold growth is an ever-present concern for many Arkansas homeowners. One way to identify mold hidden in your attic, crawlspace, or ductwork is the distinct musty smell. It may be hard to notice after a few hours in your home, because you have been rendered “nose blind” to the smell (basically, you get used to it!) But if you come home after a vacation or a long day out and about and notice a musty smell coming from your heating and cooling vents, you may have a mold issue on your hands.
3. Your Air Filters are Extremely Dirty
Are you replacing the air filters of your furnace and air conditioner every one to three months? Pay attention to how clogged and dirty they are. If you notice an uptick in the buildup, or that you have to replace them more often, it is a clear sign that there are many more contaminants are your air.
This is not just a concern for the health of the occupants of your home; it is also concerning for the health of your heating and cooling equipment. The dirtier the air filter, the harder your equipment will have to work to pull air through the filter. This will increase your energy bills and add unnecessary wear and tear to your furnace or air conditioner.
4. Condensation on Your Windows
With the aforementioned Arkansas humidity as a constant companion here in the south, a poorly ventilated home will show signs of excess condensation as the humidity builds. This will be most obvious on your windows or other glass surfaces.
Ventilation is an often overlooked aspect of a healthy home, in part because many homeowners do not know that indoor air can actually be up to five times more contaminated than outdoor air. All of the dust, mold, allergens, and volatile organic compounds (also referred to as VOCs) in your home’s air need a place to go; otherwise, they are recirculated throughout your home and into your lungs.
5. Your Floors are Mostly Carpet
According to the American Lung Association, “Toxic gases in the air can stick to small particles that settle into carpets.1 These pollutants may become airborne during renovations, vacuuming or even daily activities like walking on the carpet.” This can be exacerbated through vacuums that do not utilize a HEPA filter. When you combine the pitfalls of carpeting with a poorly ventilated home, you are at high risk of the health concerns associated with poor indoor air quality.
Indoor air quality testing: Know what's in your air!
Whether you are concerned about an existing risk of poor indoor air quality, or you just want the peace of mind that you are breathing clean air, now is the time to schedule a complimentary IAQ Analysis and blower door test with the IAQ experts at BurtonWright. If you live in Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale or Rogers, AR, you can schedule a free indoor air quality test for your home and determine where any unexpected air is infiltrating your home with a blower door test. But hurry — this offer ends soon!