Stay Healthier with Cleaner Indoor Air

We've all been in indoor spaces that are unpleasantly dusty, musty or smelly, but these can be more than mere inconveniences. In many cases, these are signs of poor indoor air quality, and they have real implications for human health.

Managing the quality of the air inside your home is part housekeeping, part healthcare. It can make your home look, feel and smell cleaner by cutting down on dust and other airborne particles, but more importantly, it can make you feel better by minimizing irritants that can cause a wide range of symptoms.

What Kinds of Contaminants are in Your Indoor Air?

It's easy to think of pollution as being an "outdoor" problem. But as toxic as vehicle exhaust and industrial fumes can be, they have plenty of room to ventilate in the great outdoors. Indoors, pollution can hang around longer, especially in poorly ventilated rooms, which can sometimes exacerbate the health risk.

There are several common sources of indoor air contaminants:

What are the Risks of Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Some consequences of poor indoor air quality, like foul odors, are merely annoying. But the effects of airborne impurities can be much worse, depending on the contaminants and the health of the people breathing them in.

The immediate effects of contaminated indoor air can include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. People who suffer from asthma, allergies or respiratory conditions may find these symptoms to be more severe. More harmful contaminants can contribute to a range of long-term conditions including respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer.

While you should look into the air purification strategies described below if you suspect you have symptoms related to poor indoor air quality, it's important that you also discuss this matter with a physician. Your doctor may prescribe tests to help identify possible toxins, which could be helpful in identifying potential sources of contamination in your home.

How to Detect Poor Indoor Air Quality

If you think you might have an air quality problem in your home, there are several things you can do to collect more information:

What to Do About Poor Indoor Air Quality

There are several effective approaches to improving indoor air quality, ranging from easy and inexpensive to major HVAC upgrades:

If your home seems excessively dusty, or you're just not breathing as easy as you think you should, you might have an IAQ problem. Consider taking some initial steps to assess your indoor air and invest in upgrades if they're warranted. Your lungs may thank you!

You can find more tips for taking care of your home in our Learning Center.

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