As we all know, fire season in California is no joke. Each year, we watch fires erupt all over the state and devastate entire towns and cities. We’ve become accustomed to smelling the smoke in the air and watching the ashes fall on our cars when a fire is nearby. During fire season, the air quality outside is often unsafe, which is why it is so important to focus on improving your indoor air quality (IAQ). The air inside of our homes is usually 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside due to the buildup and circulation of contaminants. Continue reading to learn more about indoor air quality and why now is the time to focus on improving yours.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?
Problems with IAQ often result from a combination of factors, including climate, insufficient outdoor air intake, things we bring into our home, activities that take place in our home, and more. Over time, our air becomes packed with air pollutants and contaminants that can impact both the health of your home and those residing in it. Some of the most common contributors to poor IAQ include cigarette smoke, perfumes, household cleaning supplies, dust, bacteria, viruses, mold, gas emissions, pet dander, and poor ventilation.
What Are the Effects of Bad Indoor Air Quality?
Poor indoor air quality can negatively affect both your health and your home.
One of the easiest ways to assess your indoor air quality on your own is to pay close attention to your home. There are a handful of signs that indicate your home may be suffering from poor IAQ. These include an excessive amount of dust, a musty smell in one or more areas, mold growth, poor airflow, and humidity issues.
It can be quite difficult to detect poor indoor air quality based on symptoms alone due to the fact that they are very similar to the common cold, flu, and allergies.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with poor IAQ include:
- Itchy eyes and throat
- Respiratory issues
- Sinus congestion
- Asthma attacks
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms that tend to disappear upon leaving your home for extended periods of time, chances are, you are suffering from poor indoor air quality. First, we recommend seeking medical help. Then, reach out to a team of indoor air quality professionals right away to assess the quality of your air.
What Can You Do to Improve Poor Indoor Air Quality?
Ignoring the signs of poor IAQ would be a mistake. Health symptoms can progress over time and lead to serious respiratory infections down the line. Instead, we recommend taking action the moment you notice that you have air quality issues.
There are a number of things that you can do to improve your indoor air quality. These include:
- Clean your house: It is important to regularly wash your bedding and curtains, vacuum the floors, and clean your entire home to help reduce the number of pollutants present.
- Open your windows: One of the easiest ways to improve your IAQ is to increase the ventilation in your home. Opening windows and screened doors allows stale air to exit your home while bringing fresh air inside.
- Change out your HVAC filter: Without being changed out regularly, your HVAC filter will become clogged with dirt, dust, and debris. Once it is clogged, it becomes ineffective and fails to filter out any new air pollutants. Your filter should be changed approximately every one to three months depending on how frequently you use your system.
- Call a team of IAQ experts: The most important step you can take in improving your air quality is to bring in the experts. IAQ specialists can assess the quality of your air and determine which air quality solutions are right for your home.
How West Coast Air Conditioning Can Help
At West Coast Air Conditioning, your health and safety are our top priorities. When you call on us, we will carefully inspect your home, assess the quality of your air, and determine the best solution to your air quality issues. As a leader in the HVAC industry, our team has access to the highest performing IAQ systems on the market. We offer various effective IAQ solutions, including air balancing, air filtration, air purification, dehumidification, and humidification to help you and your loved ones start breathing fresher, cleaner air right away.
Call (805) 954-9195 or contact our team online to schedule indoor air quality service today.