Poor air quality can harm one’s health and comfort in many ways. However, a wide range of people live in homes that have less-than-stellar air quality without even knowing it. Since the naked eye can’t exactly see minuscule toxins and air pollutants, you may struggle to identify poor air quality levels in your home. However, you must recognize and resolve air quality issues to maintain a healthy living environment. To sleuth out harmful toxins in your air, keep an eye out for these common signs that the air quality in your home is bad.
Often, poor air quality will reveal itself in physical symptoms. Some common symptoms of poor-quality air include coughing, shortness of breath, skin rashes, and frequent sneezing.
In many cases, symptoms of poor indoor air quality are mistaken for being caused by the cold or flu. If you experience cold- or flu-like symptoms that last longer than a couple of weeks, your air quality may be to blame. As such, you should pay close attention to if and how your symptoms fluctuate. If your symptoms worsen when you spend time at home but seem to get better when you’re outside or in a different location, poor quality air is likely the culprit.
While most signs of poor air quality aren’t visible, there are several exceptions. For example, the presence of dust bunnies throughout your home is a good visual indicator of lackluster air quality. If you notice dust buildup in your air vents or on surfaces in your home, you may have an abnormally high number of dust particles floating around in your air. To rectify the issue, make sure you use an appropriately sized HVAC system for your home, change the air filter regularly, dust frequently, and sweep or vacuum your space at least twice a week.
Strange or unpleasant scents are other common signs that the air quality in your home is bad. Stagnant air can cause smells to linger longer than normal. If scents stick around, your home likely has pollutants as well. Thus, you should take measures to increase the airflow throughout your home to flush out unpleasant scents as well as toxins.
Similar to lingering scents, temperature fluctuations throughout your home provide another indication of stagnant air—these changes are a common cause of poor air quality. When air doesn’t circulate throughout a house properly, hot and cold spots typically arise. If you notice that certain rooms in your home are warmer or cooler than others, it’s likely in your best interest to improve your home’s ventilation.