poor air quality

How to Tell if Your Building Has Poor Air Quality

April 12, 2018 11:14 am Published by

Did you know the quality of the air indoors can be more deadly than the quality of the air outside?

It’s so important to keep track of your indoor air quality and make sure your environment is a safe and healthy one.

But how can you tell if your building has poor air quality?

Keep reading to learn how to spot these five bad air quality warning signs.

1. Health Problems

If the air quality in your building is bad, you’ll probably start to see a negative effect on your health. Depending on the type of pollution in your air, the symptoms could be different.

But here’s a short list of health signs to look out for:

  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Sinus congestion
  • Scratchy throat
  • Sneezing

It is easy to mistake these symptoms for a head cold or other similar sickness, but if they last any longer than a few days and don’t seem to be getting any better, they’re most likely related to poor air quality.

You may also experience these symptoms while you’re at work but not while you’re at home for the weekend.

Watch Your Allergies

If you have allergies, you may dismiss these signs as your allergies acting up. Though this could be true, remember something has to cause your allergies to act that way.

Your allergies could be triggered by poor air quality, especially if the seasons aren’t currently changing.

More Serious Health Problems

Serious cases of indoor air pollution can cause some serious side effects.

For example, breathing in bad air for too long could cause rashes, fevers, nausea, fatigue, muscle pain, vomiting, hearing loss, and even neurological disorders.

Don’t ignore any of these signs. Putting it off will only make the problem worse.

If you or anyone else in the building are struggling with these symptoms, you need to call a professional right away. When the air quality is that bad, you have some serious problems on your hands.

2. Dust Buildups

Dust that builds up quicker than it should is a good sign something isn’t quite right with your air filtration system.

This problem could be even worse if there are pets in your building. Animal dander, along with things like pollen, can irritate your respiratory system. If you are already sensitive to these things, you may experience heightened symptoms.

If you find a large amount of dust in your building, you need to address your air quality.

3. Mold Growth

Mold grows in places that are dark or moist, so if you have mold growing on your walls, furniture, floors, or anywhere else, your humidity level probably isn’t where it should be.

This type of mold is easy to find because you can usually see the black or green spots on top of surfaces.

Finding mold in damp places, like around sinks and bathtubs isn’t uncommon. Mold growing in normally damp areas doesn’t mean you have bad air quality. But when mold is growing in places it shouldn’t be growing, places that are usually dry, you have cause for concern.

You shouldn’t wait to address the problem if you have mold.

What Happens if You Breath Mold

Breathing in mold and mildew can leave you with a lot of serious health issues.

The normal symptoms of mold are itchy eyes, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and trouble breathing. But if there is a lot of mold in the building, you could develop asthma, infections, skin irritation, and even some types of cancer. Mold can build up in your brain and you can suffer mold toxicity poisoning.

Pay Attention to the Smell

In some cases, you may not see the mold growing out in the open. Even if you can’t see it, the mold can still be a health hazard, so you should pay attention to any odd smells inside the building.

You’ll most likely notice the smell when returning to the building after the weekend or a break. A musty, harsh smell is a sign there’s mold growing somewhere in your building.

These types of smells can also mean you don’t have enough ventilation. Because there’s no way for these smells to get outside, they’ll linger around inside.

4. Inconsistent Air Distribution

Even if you don’t smell any stuffy scents or experience any health problems, inconsistent air distribution is another good sign you have poor air quality.

How do you figure out if you have inconsistent air distribution? It sounds complicated, but it’s not that hard to spot.

All you have to do is keep an eye out for spots of the building that are different temperatures than each other. For example, if one room is cold but the room next to it is warm, your air system most likely has a problem. That problem could be damaging your air quality.

Of course, look for these spots within reason, because other factors might be causing the change in temperature.

A room full of large windows might be slightly warmer or colder than other rooms. The temperature outside, thickness of windows, weather stripping are also factors. Even furniture inside the area could contribute, for example rooms with tile floor will likely feel colder than rooms with carpet floors.

Look for differences that are noticeably more extreme than they should be or that can’t be explained by another factor.

5. Weird Humidity

The recommended indoor humidity is about 30% to 50%, depending on where you live and the time of year. Buildings in cold climates will have lower humidity levels while buildings in warmer areas will have higher humidity levels.

If your indoor humidity level doesn’t match up with what it should be, your air quality probably isn’t where it should be either.

When your humidity levels aren’t right, you can experience health problems (from humidity that is both too high and too low). Not to mention the building will feel uncomfortable to stay in for long periods of time.

You can use a hygrometer to keep track of your humidity levels throughout the year, and if you need them, you can also use a humidifier or dehumidifier to keep your building safe and comfortable.

Don’t Ignore Poor Air Quality

If you notice any of these poor air quality signs, you need to take action right away. Leaving things as they are will just make the problems worse, meaning your health will continue to suffer.

Need help getting your air quality back to the way it should be? Take a look at some of our services and how we can help you.


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