When you think about air quality, you may picture yellow smog obscuring city skylines or black exhaust filling the air. Most people think pollution is only a problem outdoors. However, poor air quality can also affect the inside of your home.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the cleanliness and safety of the air within inside your residence. Poor air quality can cause health issues for elderly family members and small children. Pollutants also aggravate allergies and asthma. Luckily, you don’t have to live with poor indoor air quality. You have options for testing and improving the quality of your home’s indoor atmosphere. Start by reaching out to our team at Comfort All-Stars to ask about our air quality services in the Tampa Bay area.

Signs of Poor Air Quality

Itchy eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose: These symptoms may be a sign of seasonal allergies, but they can also be a sign of poor indoor air quality. If you suffer from allergies, asthma, or sinus infections, your home’s air may be the cause. Frequent rashes and headaches may also indicate the presence of unhealthy air pollutants.

Even if you don’t experience these physical symptoms, you could notice other signs of poor indoor air quality. Dust and dirt on your vents can be a sign of dirty vents or clogged air filters. If you turn on your furnace and smell burning dust, that indicates dirt in your ductwork and your air. Smells like mold, mildew, and chemicals mean your home has poor air quality.

If you recently painted or remodeled your home, you may notice dust on the floors, walls, and furniture. This dust is a sign that you may have dust particles in the air. As you renovate your home, drywall dust and paint particles enter into the air. These particles can irritate your lungs and sinuses.

If you notice any of these signs of poor air quality, you can schedule a home assessment. During this assessment, our team will identify potential causes of poor air quality and recommend a solution that fits your budget.

What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Many customers ask us what causes poor indoor air quality. Both external and internal sources can lead to a decline in your home’s air quality. Open windows can create a portal for outdoor particulate matter like pollen, smoke, and dust. Poorly-sealed doors and windows also make great entry points for outdoor pollutants. While your home’s HVAC system has a filter to catch pollutants, it can also be a source of outdoor particulates as it draws outdoor air in through the fresh air intake.

Inside your home, there are also many sources of indoor air pollution, including the furniture, carpeting, and paint. Redecorating might refresh your home, but the new items you bring in, like furniture and fabrics, can affect the IAQ. New furniture that uses particleboard will often have formaldehyde from resin and stains. Curtains, carpets, and drapes might also be sources of formaldehyde. Paint and wallpaper. Can be as well

Some of these items will off-gas over time, releasing the formaldehyde into the air. You might notice the smell of formaldehyde embedded in the fibers of your new items, but off-gassing can also trigger physical symptoms, including nausea, sore throat, and headaches. Off-gassing diminishes as furnishings and other items age.

Common cleaning solutions often contain chemicals and fragrances that affect your home’s air quality. Cleaning products that affect your home’s air quality include the following:

  • Aerosol sprays
  • Air freshener sprays and plug-ins
  • Bleach
  • Furniture polish
  • Floor cleaners and polishes
  • Oven cleaners
  • Ammonia-based cleaners

Your four-legged family members can also decrease air quality. Cats, dogs, and other pets shed skin flakes called dander. These microscopic particles are small enough to enter your ducts and spread throughout your home. Dander can stay airborne or stick to furniture, clothing, and skin. As you breathe air containing dander, the particles can irritate your lungs. Many people are allergic to dander, too. Common symptoms of dander allergies include itchy, watery eyes and sneezing. Improving your home’s air quality can reduce these symptoms.

Finally, excess humidity can affect indoor air quality. In the Tampa Bay area, we’re no strangers to the effects of high humidity, but inside your home, you might notice condensation on your walls, windows, and ceiling. This creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth. As mold grows, it releases spores into the air that can irritate your nasal passages and lungs. Mold can cause upper respiratory symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, and sinus congestion. Many people exposed to mold suffer from frequent sinus infections and asthma. These symptoms may appear seasonally or all year long.

If you worry about your home’s air quality, our indoor air quality experts at Comfort All-Stars can help you find a solution. Our air filters can reduce the number of pollutants released into your home’s ductwork. Air cleaners and purifiers can reduce the interior and exterior causes of poor air quality. These cleaners can reduce pet dander, smoke, and particulate matter in your home.

Air Quality Problems in Older Homes

If you live in an older home, your house may contain building materials that affect air quality. Before the late 1970s, residential builders often used lead paint inside residences. Lead paint produces dust particles that enter the air. Inhaling these particles can lead to potentially serious health problems. Over time, exposure to lead paint builds up in the body and damages major organs. Studies show that lead poisoning causes neurological problems, developmental delays in children, joint and muscle pain, and more. Children and elderly residents are especially vulnerable to the effects of lead paint.

Older homes also often used materials that contained asbestos. Before the 1980s, builders often used asbestos fibers in insulation, ductwork, and pipes. Asbestos also appeared in drywall and plaster. Many homes used a popcorn-like texture on ceilings. Now considered an eyesore by many homeowners today, this popcorn texture often indicated the presence of asbestos.

Homeowners often ask why asbestos causes air quality problems. Over time, asbestos in ductwork, plaster, and insulation releases particles into the air. Removing these materials also can release asbestos into the air. Breathing in these particles can lead to major health issues, including respiratory problems and cancer.

Your Indoor Air Quality Specialists

When you turn to our team at Comfort All-Stars, you can count on us to get to the root of the problem. We’ll assess your home’s air quality and recommend a solution that suits your needs. From air filters to ductwork, we offer the full range of air quality services. If your home’s furnace or air conditioning is the cause of your indoor air problems, we offer HVAC repair, maintenance, and installation. Our professional technicians can recommend a new furnace or air conditioner that improves your home’s air quality and reduces energy bills. Of course, we also install air purifiers, dehumidifiers, etc.

Learn more about how our air quality services can improve the atmosphere in your Tampa home. Call our team at Comfort All-Stars today to schedule an assessment.

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