Have you ever heard of sick building syndrome? It is a type of unspecified illness that can be caused by poor air circulation in an enclosed environment such as an office. You can also contract illnesses from poor air circulation in your home. Here are four symptoms of poor air circulation in your home:
- 1. Flu-Like Symptoms Such as Nausea and Fatigue
- 2. Headaches That Occur Only When Inside
- 3. Appearance of Mold
- 4. Weak Airflow and Warm Air
- 5. Odor
- How Do I Improve Air Circulation?
1. Flu-Like Symptoms Such as Nausea and Fatigue
Poor ventilation almost always means poor indoor air quality. When your house’s indoor air quality is subpar, you can suffer flu-like symptoms such as nausea, runny nose, and fatigue. The symptoms are caused by pollutants in the air ranging from bacteria to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Poor indoor air quality can also trigger allergies and other pre-existing lung conditions such as chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder (COPD) or emphysema.
2. Headaches That Occur Only When Inside
A ventilation problem can cause headaches that occur only while inside that dissipate when the person leaves. The most likely culprit is VOCs, which can come from paint, cleaning solutions, asbestos (in older homes), and even some types of carpeting. VOCs cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as difficulty breathing. In some cases, VOCs can even cause cancer. The Centers for Disease Control keeps a list of these compounds.
3. Appearance of Mold
Image via Flickr by matsuyuki
Black mold has received a lot of press lately for its ability to cause all kinds of health problems, ranging from dry, itchy eyes to Legionnaires’ Disease, a rare form of pneumonia that can be fatal. And one leading cause of poor indoor air quality is a dirty filter in an air conditioner. The filter can become a virtual breeding ground for bacteria, black mold, and other fungi.
Proper ventilation allows clean and fresh air to circulate, but when you have poor ventilation, condensation increases and mold grows quickly—it is estimated to spread in as little as 24 to 48 hours. One study found that moisture in homes increased by up to 30% from drying clothes indoors. A well-ventilated utility room, drying closet, or tumble dryer can solve this problem.
4. Weak Airflow and Warm Air
If the airflow feels weak, you probably have a problem with the compressor. The compressor is one of the most vital parts of an HVAC unit and should be assessed by an HVAC technician. If, however, the airflow feels weak in some rooms but not in others, you may have a blockage somewhere in the ductwork. The problem could also be with the system’s pressure balance, both of which an HVAC technician can fix. Finally, the problem could be a dirty air filter, which you or an HVAC technician can easily change.
You may also feel warm air even though your HVAC unit is set to cool. In that case, the refrigerant may be low. There could be other causes, though, so be sure to have an HVAC technician perform an inspection.
If you’ve lived in your home for long, odds are it has a commonplace fragrance that causes you to feel comfortable. If you have smelled perfume noticeable all-around hours after you splashed it on or cooking scents from supper prior in the week, your home experiences stale smells. Regardless of whether these smells don’t trouble at all, they’re side effects of a bigger issue that you can’t conceal with an air freshener.
How Do I Improve Air Circulation?
Appropriate flow of air is critical in any home, since air circulation controls the temperature, evacuates pollution, prevents the growth of fungus, and makes a progressively lovely, safe, and breathable atmosphere. On the contrary, poor air flow can put your health at risk. So now that you have realized your home is making you sick. What should you do now?
Consulting an HVAC technician to determine the next step. By maintaining proper ventilation, you can avoid being sick and save money by spending less on healthcare expenses and improving your HVAC system’s efficiency. These are only the highlight of a few steps you can take. However, there are more detailed steps you can take to improve the air circulation in your house. Some of them are mentioned below:
1. Open entryways and windows
This are the most basic and clear approach to promptly improve the indoor airflow. Merely by opening windows in various rooms, you can make a cross-stream that improves the air circulation of the whole house.
2. Exhaust fan
Introduce exhaust fans, particularly in the kitchen and washrooms. An exhaust fan works similar to a customary fan but in the opposite direction. Instead of blowing air outward, it draws air and moisture internally. This improves open-air ventilation, avoids dampness from taking control over the home, and banishes impurities from the air.
3. Rearrange your furniture
You would not believe the amount of a beneficial outcome reorganizing the furniture can have on the circulation of air in your home. Try to arrange the furniture in such a way that there is nothing that is hindering the windows. Try to open up the rooms so that there is an immediate pathway through and around your home. Ensure that there is nothing near any of the vents you may have on your floors, dividers, or roofs. Little changes can have an enormous effect.
4. A ventilation system
If you choose to go to the technological course, consider having a home ventilation framework introduced. An all-around planned and appropriately introduced home ventilation system can be incredible for your home regardless of the climate. It can likewise displace the stale air with new, dry air to make a healthier and more advantageous environment for your family.
5. Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers
Humidity or absence of dampness can similarly be an issue with your home’s air quality and flow. If your home has excessively or little dampness noticeable all around then you should consider including a humidifier or dehumidifier. A humidifier will include dampness once more into the air while a dehumidifier will haul dampness out of the air. The two frameworks will channel the air as they are running and both will likewise help in air flow.