Signs & symptoms caused by poor indoor air quality can mimic many diseases and health conditions:
- Recurring sickness ( constantly getting sick )
- Constant coughing
- Stuffy nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Problems concentrating ( “hazy feeling” )
- Flu and cold like symptoms
Your home can also experience some signs:
- Your home gets dusty fairly quickly
- Higher than usual energy bills ( due to blocked or partially blocked vents)
Immediate effects may show up after a single exposure or repeated exposures. These include:
- irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Symptoms of some diseases, including asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonia, and humidifier fever , may also show up soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants.
children, elderly people, and at risk individuals usually experience these problems first.
Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade or go away when a person is away from home, for example, an effort should be made to identify indoor air sources that may be possible causes. Some effects may be made worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air or from the heating, cooling, or humidity conditions prevalent in the home.
Even the most meticulous looking home can hide these dirty ducts behind it. Dirty air ducts are often the source of the problem
Other health effects may show up years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These can be severely debilitating or fatal.
Some of the long term effects of poor home ventilation are:
- Chronic respiratory diseases
- Heart disease
- Some Cancers (Lung Cancer)
- Chronic fatigue
While pollutants commonly found in indoor air are responsible for many harmful effects, there is considerable uncertainty about what concentrations or periods of exposure are necessary to produce specific health problems. People also react very differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants. Further research is needed to better understand which health effects occur after exposure to the average pollutant concentrations found in homes and which occurs from the higher concentrations that occur for short periods of time.
However one conclusive fact is that the lower the indoor air quality of your home is the higher the likelihood to experience the above mentioned ‘effects’ on your health.
It is therefore prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable.