Bad Indoor Air Quality can make you feel tired or even sick.
Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can cause fatigue, head aches, trouble concentrating and irritated eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Poor or inadequate fresh air ventilation, or air seeping into the home and HVAC system from attic and crawl spaces (infiltration) all mean that indoor air quality is compromised.
Excess dust from recent remodeling, off-gassing from cleaning supplies and other household chemicals, mold, pesticides, formaldehyde and tobacco smoke concentrate in poorly ventilated spaces. Separately or together, these can mean health risks for occupants that might appear suddenly, or may increase so slowly that the real culprit is hard to determine.
Everyone is at risk from poor IAQ. Studies show that children are especially vulnerable because their bodies are still developing, and they may suffer from allergies, asthma and other respiratory problems. The elderly and individuals with respiratory problems are also more at risk because of fragile immune systems. And many don’t realize that their pets can suffer, too!
Questions to ask:
- Do you know if your home has too much, or too little, ventilation?
- Is your relative humidity between 30-50%?
- If you have combustion appliances: are they working properly?
- Is moisture collecting in rooms or behind walls?
Don’t panic, there’s help available. These problems can be prevented or fixed with proper ventilation and some other building adjustments. First: find out the answers to the questions above. Blower door testing and consultation with a BPI-certified building performance expert will help you figure out where to start … and customize a plan to meet your budgetary and performance goals.
References: US Dept. of Labor https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/indoorairquality/
By: Laura Wasko