The quality of the air in your Margate, Florida, home might not be something that you think much about. With central heating and cooling, it’s easy to assume that your HVAC system is doing a good job of eliminating harmful airborne particulates. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Read on to find out how your indoor air quality (IAQ) is affecting your family’s health.

1. Rapid Transmission of Illness

Contrary to what most consumers believe, HVAC air filters aren’t built with indoor air quality in mind. Although these components do provide limited IAQ benefits for humans, they’re largely designed to protect air conditioners, heat pumps and furnaces.

Standard HVAC air filters capture and retain larger particulates like dust, pet hair and pollen. However, the germs that are released during a sneeze move right through them. If you have a sick loved one sequestered in their room, the aerosols that they release each time they cough or sneeze could be circulated throughout the home. Households with integrated air scrubbers, media filters or air purifiers tend to share communicable illnesses a lot less. These whole-house IAQ accessories can remove viruses, bacteria and more.

2. Your Low IAQ Could Be Exacerbating the Symptoms of Respiratory Illnesses

Low indoor air quality is especially problematic for people with recurring respiratory infections, allergies, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Having dust, pet dander and other contaminants present in your commonly used living spaces tends to exacerbate the symptoms associated with these issues.

3. Sleep Troubles

It isn’t easy to get a good night’s sleep when your nasal passages are stuffy or blocked. A low IAQ can leave building residents with stuffy noses, irritated sinuses or frequent nosebleeds. This is also true if IAQ problems are the result of poorly regulated humidity. Residents with sleep apnea and other breathing-related sleep problems tend to experience the greatest sleep disruptions when indoor air quality is compromised.

4. Constant Exposure to Harmful Chemicals and Contaminants

A lot of parents work hard to keep synthetic food dyes, harmful preservatives and other unnecessary chemicals out of their kids’ diets. However, far less attention is often placed on moderating what family members breathe in. In a tightly sealed home, your spouse, children and other loved ones are likely exposed to volatile organic compounds from cleaning products, building materials, cooking and candles. Room freshening sprays and plug-in air fresheners are common contributors to indoor pollution too.

5. Mold-Related Health Issues

Mold isn’t just unsightly. It’s also incredibly toxic and hard to get rid of. Even if you’ve never had a major water damage event in your home before, you may have mold problems around your windows, in your HVAC air ducts or near leaky appliance connections. Mold exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, respiratory distress, ear infections and sinus infections. It can also leave residents feeling irritable and fatigued.

When mold is a persistent problem in homes, mildew is often present as well. The result is a living environment that constantly smells damp and unpleasant. With these two growths proliferating at the same time, residents may have itchy, watery eyes, blurry vision, dry coughs and irritated skin.

6. Depression, Anxiety, Low Energy and General Malaise

Surprisingly, having a low IAQ can also have an impact on mood and mental health. A home that constantly makes you feel restless, tired and physically uncomfortable can’t reliably serve as a respite from the stress of the outside world.

However, researchers also believe that certain chemical and biological contaminants have a significant and direct impact on mental and hormonal health. People living in homes with low indoor air quality have notably higher rates of anxiety, depression and irritability than those living in homes with high IAQs.

The quality of your indoor air matters. Although your HVAC system reliably regulates your indoor temperature and your home’s humidity levels, it’s not the best standalone solution to many common IAQ concerns. You can consult with a reputable HVAC technician to find out more about having an indoor air quality assessment performed. Based on the results that you receive, you can talk with your technician about improving your indoor air quality by way of an air purifier, humidifier, dehumidifier, better air filters, etc.

We’re committed to helping residents of Margate, Florida, breathe easy. We’ve been providing top-notch heating and cooling services for more than 30 years. We also offer cutting-edge indoor air quality solutions, the installation of new heating and cooling equipment and routine maintenance. To find out how to improve your home’s IAQ, contact Dr. HVAC Inc today.

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