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Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Hurt Your Health?

Health Risks of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Most people are aware of environmental toxins in the air. Since air quality problems started arising in cities in the 1970s much media attention has been given to air pollution. Pollution reduction programs have been largely successful in improving air quality in cities to the point where smog is hardly an issue anymore. However, most people are unaware that their indoor air quality is often lower than that of outdoor air.

Indoor air is subject to many of the same problems as outdoor air. While chemical toxins can build up in your indoor environment, the most concerning air quality problems arise from particulate matter, like dust and pollen, and poor humidity regulation. Even though homeowners don’t think about their indoor air quality much, it can have serious health consequences.

Dryness in Your Eyes and Skin Is Never Good

dry eyesOne of the first signs that your indoor air quality is poor is dry eyes, skin, and nasal passages. The human body thrives at a certain environmental humidity level. When this level is not reached, the skin can become dry and itchy.

Most often this is experienced during the winter when humidity levels are naturally low. It is also common in naturally dry environments. To combat dryness and irritation, be sure to stay hydrated.

Using topical moisturizers can also ease skin irritation. Humidifiers can be used to restore humidity in your home. You can also have your cooling system checked to make sure it is not pulling too much humidity out of your indoor air.

Poor Air Quality Can Attack Your Respiratory System

Another sign that your indoor air quality is poor is coughing and sneezing. There are two main reasons for this. The first has to do with the humidity levels in your home. Low humidity levels dry out your body’s natural defense systems and can lead to respiratory problems.

The second cause of coughing and sneezing has to do with particulate matter. Your home’s HVAC system is designed to recycle the same air while heating or cooling it to your comfort level. Over time, dust and allergens build up in the home. Filters are built into all HVAC systems to attempt to remove many of the particulates that you may be exposed to.

sneezing

However, they must be changed diligently and it is vital that the proper filter is selected. If you live in a high dust environment or you are particularly sensitive to allergens then you must select an appropriate filter to keep your air clean.

Coughing and sneezing can be signs of bacterial or viral infection. Once someone in your home is infected they will continue to spread the sickness, making air filtration important for protecting your family and also preventing the illness from occurring in the first place.

Sinus Issues Could Also Be a Problem

sinus sensitivityParticulates in the air and poor humidity control both contribute to sinus sensitivity. When you are constantly breathing dry air you are depleting your body’s defenses against particulate matter, specifically the mucus in your nasal passages.

As the mucus dries out, allergens and bacteria are allowed to contact the sensitive areas of the sinus, leading to infection or allergies. This typically leads to a sinus infection, which can become chronic, and can also aggravate asthma. But often these can be controlled with good, clean air.

As a homeowner, your goal should be to improve your home to the best of your ability. For starters, remember to change your filter on a routine basis. If that doesn’t help, always contact your local experts.

About Wolfgang’s Cooling & Heating

Wolfgang’s Cooling & Heating has been providing air quality services in Scottsdale, AZ since 1982. They provide a full range of repair and maintenance services for your HVAC system so you can keep your indoor air clean year-round. Any time, day or night, they are available for emergency services. With the Peace-of-Mind guarantee, they stand behind their work.