8 Common Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Prevent Them

From high pollen count in the fall to pet dander from your beloved companions, the air circulating in your Brunswick County, NC, home might not be as clean and fresh as you’d think. Read on to learn the eight of the most common causes of poor indoor air quality and how you can prevent them.


The most common cause of poor indoor air quality, especially in older buildings, is asbestos. The material is often found in paint, construction material, ceiling and floor tiles, etcetera.

If you have a newer home, however, it is less likely that you’ll find asbestos in it since the U.S. has already banned the material. Consult with an HVAC technician to determine whether or not your home contains asbestos.

Natural Pollutants

Mold and microbial growth, viruses, dust mites and pet fur can enter your home from the outside and accumulate within your air vents and ducts. This not only causes poor indoor air quality but also forces your air conditioner to work harder to regulate airflow and temperatures. Getting your HVAC system thoroughly checked and routinely maintained can help minimize pollutant buildup in these areas of the house.

Appliance-Generated Pollutants

The fuel-burning appliances that you use on a daily basis can also produce indoor air pollution. Wood stoves, water and space heaters, dryers and other combustion appliances can inadvertently and negatively affect your indoor air quality. To minimize pollutants, upgrade your cooling and heating systems to more energy-efficient solutions.

Artificial Fragrances

Air fresheners, deodorizers and colognes may have chemicals that are not regulated by the government. These chemicals may interact with other elements in the environment and degrade your indoor air quality. Be very mindful of the fragrances you purchase and only use air fresheners and deodorizers that use organic and regulated substances.


Similar to asbestos, radon was once a common household construction material found in various forms of bedrock. Radon, however, can lead to poor indoor air quality, especially if it accumulates in large amounts behind your home’s walls and crevices.

One possible solution to eliminate or, at the very least, reduce radon levels in your home is to ventilate the crawlspace. This will effectively reduce the household’s suction on the ground underneath it and, simultaneously, dilute the radon beneath the building.

Tobacco Residue

Smoking around your home can also produce indoor air pollutants. Not only does your health suffer from the well-documented side effects of prolonged tobacco smoking, but the residue can also affect the air quality that your family breathes. A simple solution is to minimize or eliminate the habit of smoking.


Pesticides that you use to kill pests, like mosquitoes, flies and rodents, can have a lingering effect even after disposing of them. Traces of chemicals in pesticides can stick to the floor, furniture, wall or soil.

Being exposed to these chemical agents can result in health issues, including eye irritation, CNS damage and an elevated risk of cancer. When using pesticides, control when and where you apply them. Use protective equipment and make sure to properly dispose of all pesticides.

Dirty Fabrics

Dirty bedsheets, curtains, rugs and furniture covers can collect large amounts of dust, dander and other undesirable materials. Make it a point to perform an intensive cleanup of your home at least once a month.

Families rarely consider their indoor air quality when trying to improve their health and well-being at home. But given that you and your family spend a large amount of your time at home, it makes sense to try and improve the air quality circulating indoors. Contact Airmax Heating & Cooling today to learn more about our indoor air quality equipment and HVAC services, including heating and air conditioning maintenance, installations and repairs.

Image provided by iStock

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