You must know that cool or cold indoor air from your air-conditioning unit is not always clean air, right? In fact, this air could be making you sick.
Although people assume that indoor air must be much cleaner than outdoor air, indoor air quality can be severely hampered by your lifestyle and the condition of your air-conditioning system. Even a perfectly maintained A/C unit may not catch all pollutants. Some of the potential problems with poor indoor air quality like lung and nasal congestion are caused by stale air, dust, mold and mildew, Freon leaks, chemical leaks, and noxious fumes. In fact, a dirty filter is just one reason for poor indoor A/C air.
Assuming you do everything by the book on A/C maintenance and yet you still have reason to complain, don’t go rushing to your A/C pros to complain. Consider the following causes first:
• Do you ever open your windows?
• How long do you keep the windows open?
• At what time of the day are your windows open?
• Do you smoke? Do you empty out ashtrays right away?
• When was the last time you did spring cleaning?
• Do your neighbors smoke or barbeque often?
The Sick Building Syndrome
You may be living in what experts call a “sick house” that can cause sick building syndrome. This happens when you or any other person living in the house gets sick with no specific illness that can be diagnosed. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 30% of remodeled or new buildings can suffer from poor indoor air quality because of poor ventilation and contaminants left in the air and on construction materials. The figure for old houses and buildings is even higher, especially for those built more than 10 years ago and that have not undergone indoor air quality testing.
Test Your Indoor Air Quality
There are instruments that test indoor air quality. These tools measure carbon monoxide levels, carbon dioxide levels, nitrogen oxides, radon, temperature, humidity, asbestos, and sulfur dioxide. There are other instruments that can test the levels of petroleum hydrocarbons (crude oils), ozone, formaldehyde, amines, xylenes, and other toxic materials.
The signs of an indoor air problem aside from mold and mildew are:
• Condensation in your windows and glass
• Wood warping
• Paint peeling or discoloration of ceiling and walls
• A funky odor
• Sticky air
• Dry air
Work with your A/C Professionals
Talk to the experts. Aside from installing and maintaining your A/C system, we can help you with carbon monoxide alarms and fix your ventilation system so fumes or cooking smells are fanned outward. We can also check your humidity levels so the indoor air is comfortable and not excessively sticky or dry.
The worse course of action you can take with poor indoor air quality is to ignore it or to try to solve it with temporary spot solutions because, at the end of the day, it comes out more costly than trying to solve indoor air quality in some rooms only. Don’t let your own home make you sick!