Indicators of Low Indoor Air Quality

Due to the health risks associated with Low Indoor Air Quality, it is important to be aware of indications in your building, workplace or residence. There are a number of signs to alert you that you have a low indoor air quality, including:

Humidity Issues

We build and insulate our houses to keep the heater or air conditioner effects inside the building and forget to take into consideration air humidity. Low indoor humidity levels can cause static electricity, dried out indoor plants and peeling wallpaper. High humidity means excess moisture in the air.  This can cause mould to grow as well as encourage dust mites and other allergens. Timber furniture and building structures can also be affected by this moisture. This can result in dry rot, termite infestation and wet sub floors which also affect our air quality and our personal moods.  We allow high humidity to enter our homes when windows are left open for cross ventilation, all day or at night.

Mould

Mould gives off spores which float in the air and can make conditions such as asthma worse. Mould is one indicator of dampness which can be caused by humidity.

Stale Odours

If you’ve ever smelled perfume in the air hours after you sprayed it on or cooking odours from dinner earlier in the week, your home suffers from stale odours. Whether these odours drive you up the wall or don’t bother you at all, they’re symptoms of a larger problem that you can’t cover up with air freshener. Unpleasant smells that don’t seem to go away signal that your home doesn’t have adequate ventilation. Buildings left unused for part of the year, such as holiday homes, are particularly exposed to the problem of damaging high moisture content in the air. The indoor climate suffers from the closed windows and locked doors. Typical signs are stale air, musty smells and lumps in the sugar bowl.

Condensation on Windows

Commonly in modern building structures, we find tightly sealed windows and doors, plus walls and ceilings sealed by vapour barriers. Traditional ventilating methods coupled with high humidity will raise moisture content in your walls and furniture. Moisture or condensation on the inside of your single or double glazing has become a sign of unsound indoor climate.

Room-to-Room Temperature Variation

If you’ve ever noticed that some rooms in your home stay warm while others cool down easily, the cool air from your air conditioner may not be reaching each room equally.

Respiratory Conditions

Contaminated indoor air can lead to a whole host of respiratory conditions, including chronic coughing, sneezing, fatigue, headaches, and congestion. If left untreated, some of these issues can develop into nosebleeds, breathing difficulties, asthma attacks, and even lung disease. When you notice signs of chronic respiratory, it’s important to question the quality of the indoor air quality right away.

Irritated Eyes

Eyes, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue can often be a sign of low indoor air quality. Itchy eyes, dry skin, infections and colds can signify low air humidity. These effects can be present almost immediately after exposure to the airborne pollutant or poor humidity levels.

Triggered Asthma & Allergies

Allergic reactions to unhealthy living conditions caused by mould, dust mites, pollen, second-hand smoke, pet fur and dry rot in our houses are numerous and increasing. These can trigger asthma and allergies. Allergies are one of the fastest growing chronic diseases in Australia with 4.1 million Australians having at least 1 allergic disease. Common allergic diseases include asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever).