In 2020, Americans spent 62% of their time at home. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, however, this figure was at 50%. If you also count sleeping hours, Americans spend the vast majority of their time inside their houses.

Because you are exposed to it so much, the air inside your home can significantly affect your health. It can even cause or worsen diseases and chronic health conditions.

According to the EPA, short-term exposure to household cleaning chemicals, smoke from cooking or tobacco products, and substances like mold can lead to acute respiratory problems, headaches, and allergy symptoms. Long-term exposure to poor-quality air can turn these into chronic issues and cause more severe illnesses like asthma, cancer, and heart disease.

If you are not sure about the state of the air in your home, you can search “home inspection services near me” to find an expert who can test it for you. In Central Florida, you can work with Pro Inspect Solutions to ensure your home is free of airborne substances that can harm your health.

You can also look for signs of these common air quality problems.

Moisture and Mold Growth

Moisture from pipe leaks, condensation, flooding, or poor ventilation creates ideal conditions for the spread of this unwanted substance. The problem with mold is that the spores become airborne, and you either inhale or ingest them. People with mold allergies can experience symptoms like cough, wheezing, a runny nose, and even gastrointestinal issues. Even people without allergies can be bothered by mold and develop a sensitivity to it over time.

Mold can be difficult to eradicate because it thrives in hidden spaces, such as under carpets, behind drywall, and in ducts and vents. If you see evidence of mold or have excessive dampness in your home, a professional inspection and testing can help you decide if you have a mold problem.

Poor Ventilation

Proper ventilation can take care of many quality issues. Activities like cooking can harm air quality, but you cannot avoid these tasks. Exhaust fans, such as the one in the hood above your cooktop, can remove harmful particles from smoke before they get into the rest of your home.

A similar device in your bathroom can stop humidity and moisture from settling in the room.

Air quality issues arise when you do not have this ventilation equipment or it does not work properly.

You also need to replace the unwanted air with clean air. This can come through the HVAC system or from outside. You can bring fresh air through the windows, but this might not be the best solution during times of heat and high humidity. In these cases, a well-functioning air conditioning system is necessary.

Inadequate HVAC Performance

Air conditioning and ductwork are essential for proper ventilation. Not only does this system ensure you are comfortable when it’s hot, but it also lowers humidity and moisture and improves air circulation.

Blockages anywhere in the system can affect airflow. For example, if you have an outdoor component, the condenser could become blocked, stunting airflow into the system. Meanwhile, closed or blocked vents inside your home can keep the conditioned air from getting to all the areas it is supposed to reach. These spaces will be outside of the airflow cycle and will have stagnant air.

Other problems could include air leaks in the ductwork, an underpowered, outdated, or malfunctioning fan, and a dirty or clogged filter.

Poor AC performance could lead to additional air quality problems. For example, poor airflow through the ducts could lead to moisture buildup and mold growth. This could compound air quality issues because the air conditioner will actually be blowing mold spores out through the vents and into your living areas.

Regular duct cleaning, filter changes, and AC tune-ups can help you avoid these problems and ensure proper airflow throughout your home.

Air Leaks

Fresh air is typically good for air quality, but humidity and water are not. Air leaks, which usually occur around windows and doors, can allow unwanted air into your home. Often, there are small gaps between door and window frames. These gaps can also be present around the area where pipes or wires enter the home.

In addition to allowing moist air into the home, these spots can also serve as access points for pests. Furthermore, air leaks can force your HVAC system to work even harder to keep the home comfortable.

There are methods for testing for air leaks. For example, you could try closing all windows and doors, turning on exhaust fans, and feeling around frames and utility inlets with a moist hand for signs of a draft. You can also rely on a professional to check for such issues.

Natural and Chemical Contaminants

Radon gas occurs naturally in the soil. When trace amounts of soil get into your home, either through windows or due to flooding or water intrusion through foundation cracks, radon could come with it. Radon is a carcinogen that could cause respiratory cancers with extended exposure. Sealing leaks, cleaning after flooding, and using exhaust fans on the lowest level of your home can help with radon mitigation.

Meanwhile, chemical cleaners, such as those containing ammonia, bleach, or artificial scents, can impact air quality, especially if you use them in a confined or poorly ventilated space, such as a bathroom without an exhaust fan.

This is one of the easiest air quality issues to deal with because you can simply try switching to non-chemical alternatives.

Where Can I Find a Home Inspection Service Near Me to Test Air Quality?

If you are in the Orlando area and reside in Osceola, Orange, Seminole, and Volusia counties, you can contact Pro Inspect Solutions to gain insight into your home’s air quality and issues like mold, radon, HVAC performance, and ventilation.