Common Sources of Indoor Air Quality Problems
Mold: Mold spores are practically everywhere. They typically aren’t bothersome in dry environments. But when moist conditions present themselves, mold can grow, reproduce and really cause allergy symptoms and reduce indoor air quality. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.” Needless to say, mold is a form of indoor air pollution and not something you want to be breathing in for extended periods and on a daily basis.
Dust Mites: These microscopic insects thrive in humid, warm environments. They also prefer to set up shop in carpet, upholstered furniture, and bedding. As gross as this sounds, digestive enzymes in their waste are a primary cause our allergic reactions.
Cockroaches: In a lot of homes, our dust particles contain cockroach saliva, droppings, and even body parts, causing allergic reactions for many.
Pollen Count: This common cause of allergies can originate from weeds, flowers, grasses, and even trees.
Pets: Fur, feathers, saliva, urine, droppings, and dander (skin flakes), can all potentially cause problems. Speaking of skin flakes, we people leave a lot of those lying around too...and skin flakes are a favorite snack of dust mites.
Dry Air: While high humidity is something to be avoided, a low humidity level can cause its share of problems too. Primarily, it can dry out your nasal passages, making you more susceptible to illness and allergies. Other issues can include cracked, itchy skin, chapped lips, a sore throat, and nose bleeds.
AcuRite Tips for Monitoring Indoor Air Quality
- Monitor Environmental Conditions: Place AcuRite Room Monitors around the home (ex. bedrooms, living areas, attics, basements, etc.) to measure humidity and temperature conditions.
- Monitor for Water Leaks: Position one or more Water Leak Detectors in areas of potential leaks and flooding.
- Beneath appliances: Set up a leak detector beneath dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, and other appliances that are susceptible to leaks
- Beneath sinks and showers: Gain early warning of leaky pipes, or when to replace caulking
- Inside sump pump wells: Hanging a leak detector in a sump pump well can give you early warning of impending flood conditions
- On basement or attic floors: Get instant notification if your home is taking in water during a storm
- Use a Home Environment Display for convenient viewing of conditions measured by multiple Monitor and Sensors in and around your home. Set alarms on the display for early warning of conditions that are conducive to mold growth:
- High Humidity Alert: Take corrective action if relative humidity levels exceed the EPA-recommend maximum of 60% RH.
- Low Humidity Alert: Take corrective action if relative humidity levels dip below the EPA-recommend minimum of 30% RH.
- Water Present Alert: Take corrective action to fix leak and remove water before mold has chance to grow.