What causes poor indoor air quality? Home Inspection Company Has the Answers

Indoor air quality, commonly referred to as IAQ, describes the quality of air inside of structures and buildings and how it affects the people living and working there. By identifying some common pollutants, home and business owners can improve IAQ and overall respiratory health for everyone affected. HomeGuard offers home inspections in Irvine, Riverside, and much of Northern and Southern California, with all the recent wildfires burning in our state we thought we’d share some tips to improve your indoor air quality in your home.

Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

The materials used to build a structure and the habits of the people living or working there play a big part in whether air pollution develops or not. Here are some of the most common sources of problems with IAQ:

  • Wildfires, vehicle traffic, pollen and dander from outdoor sources
  • Combustion appliances that burn fuel
  • Flooring such as carpet or upholstery recently installed
  • Furniture or cabinets containing specific types of compressed wood
  • Excessive mold and moisture
  • Household cleaning products
  • Insulation containing asbestos that has started to deteriorate
  • Outdoor sources that come into the home or building such as pesticides or radon
  • Tobacco smoke

The age of many of these items and how well the property owner has maintained them also contribute to the degree of indoor air pollution they create.

Health Problems Associated with Poor IAQ

When someone is sensitive to an indoor air pollutant, they typically have immediate effects like sneezing, itchy skin, and watery eyes. Dizziness, fatigue, and nose and throat irritation are common as well. The best course of action is typically to identify the item causing the symptoms and remove it. Affected people can also take over-the-counter allergy medication to feel more comfortable until their body no longer reacts to the irritant.

Unfortunately, some people experience long-term effects from poor IAQ that may not appear until months or years later. Cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are just some examples.

Tips for Avoiding or Dealing with Poor IAQ

Anyone sensitive to common allergy or asthma triggers should do their best to avoid them or eliminate them. For example, people who react to carpet fibers should live in an environment with only wood or tile floors and those sensitive to tobacco smoke should ask others not to smoke in their presence. When avoidance is not possible, visiting a doctor to get some tips can be especially useful. A tip that allergists might give to someone with dust sensitivity is to purchase products to encase their bedding and special laundry soap to kill dust mites. This is just one common scenario.

Looking for a Great Home Inspection Company Near You?

Home inspections can reveal some of the common sources of indoor air pollution like the presence of excessive moisture. HomeGuard is pleased to offer home, roof, and termite inspections in Irvine and most of Northern and Southern California. Please contact us today to learn more about the services we offer or call (855) 331-1900.