What is indoor air quality and what are the causes of air pollution inside the house?

Indoor air quality encompasses the presence of pollutants, temperature, humidity, ventilation, and odors. Do you have health symptoms that improve when you leave home? Do your symptoms come back when you return? If so, you may have an indoor air pollution problem. Below is a list of indoor air pollution causes to consider:

  • Is anyone smoking indoors? No one should smoke indoors.
  • Can you see or smell mold or mildew?
  • Is the humidity regularly above 50 percent?
  • Are there leaks or standing water anywhere— kitchen, basement, attic?
  • Are all fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, water heaters, fireplaces) fully vented to the outdoors?
  • Is there an attached garage or basement where cars, lawnmowers, or motorcycles are stored? Are household chemicals, paints, or solvents stored indoors or in an attached garage or basement?
  • Have you recently remodeled and painted, or added new furniture and carpeting?
  • Do you use odor-masking chemicals or "air-freshening" devices?
  • Has kitchen or food garbage been covered and removed?
  • Have you used pesticides recently?
  • Do you have indoor pets, or allow outdoor pets inside your home?

Determine if any of the above are indoor air pollution causes that could be affecting your health and seek the proper remedies from professional cleanup to investing in a home air purification system.