The air inside your home is invisible. So how do you know it’s unhealthy? Unlike dirt and dust that you can see, then vacuum or wipe away, knowing how clean your indoor air is harder to measure. If you have big concerns, you can contact an air quality specialist who can test for specific contaminants and provide a detailed report. Or, you can use common sense, and recognize some of the simple signs that you have a problem.

1. What’s that smell?

One of the most common symptoms is that musty odor. It can start in the basement, infiltrate any furniture or clothes you have down there and end up giving your whole home an unpleasant smell. Follow your nose to find the problem starting in your downstairs.

Mold grows in warm, damp, and humid conditions, spreading and reproducing by making spores. During growth and reproduction, mold produces gasses called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). Many of these gasses are odorless, but some have a musty odor and are poisonous mycotoxins that can cause a wide range of medical problems.

Trying to cover up the moldy smell with air fresheners, scented candles, disinfectant sprays, and household cleaning products is not a solution to the problem. In fact, it only prolongs your exposure to harmful indoor air that can compromise your health and the health of your family.

The only way to get rid of the mold smell is to remove the mold. Then take preventative measures to ensure it doesn’t return.

2. Why is there condensation on the windows?

Window condensation can also be a sign of poor indoor air quality. If you see signs of water on the inside of your windows, it can mean there are damaging levels of moisture in your home, especially evident when you turn on the heating as the weather gets cooler. Warm air hitting the cold windows can lead to ruined window frame finishes and mold growth on windowsills.

Well insulated homes that are sealed against air leakage can lead to reduced natural ventilation to the outdoors. Understanding the importance of humidity control and proper ventilation and ensuring there is is balance, with a system that brings in as much fresh air as it exhausts stale air. According to the CHMC, after reducing moisture sources, mechanical ventilation can be used to further control moisture conditions and improve indoor air quality.

3. Why am I coughing, sniffling or wheezing?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency warns that being exposed to mold can trigger allergic reactions and asthma symptoms, as well as causing reactions such as irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs when exposed to airborne mold particles.

If you are inside your home or apartment and find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s well worth your time to look for signs of mold or anything that might be causing these reactions, then remedy the situation.

If you still have a problem, it’s well worth hiring a professional who will come to your property and assess the situation. They offer a number of services including inspecting, testing and remediation. They can measure your indoor air quality and identify the presence of pollutants like mold, asbestos and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

A good contractor can also be of great value helping you understand what needs to be fixed.

Humidex means healthier indoor air

A Humidex unit not only controls the moisture that facilitates health damaging mold, it also helps expel gases like radon and replenish the air in your home. Properly installed, it starts by taking care of the place where bad air is most concentrated, the lowest point in your home.

Once you have the situation under control, you will enjoy the year round benefits. Imagine breathing easier throughout your home and knowing that the indoor environment, where you spend the majority of your time, is as healthy as it can be.