Tri-State Property Inspections

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Air Quality in the Home

Quick Facts...


Signs of indoor air quality problems include:

Common Sources of Air Quality Problems

Poor indoor air can arise from many sources. At least some of the following contaminants can be found in almost any home:

Indoor Air Pollution and Health

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

Immediate effects

Immediate effects may show up after a single exposure or repeated exposures. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person's exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Symptoms of some diseases, including asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever, may also show up soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants.

The likelihood of immediate reactions to indoor air pollutants depends on several factors. Age and pre-existing medical conditions are two important influences. In other cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies tremendously from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological pollutants after repeated exposures, and it appears that some people can become sensitized to chemical pollutants as well.

Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade or go away when a person is away from home, for example, an effort should be made to identify indoor air sources that may be possible causes. Some effects may be made worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air or from the heating, cooling, or humidity conditions prevalent in the home.

Long-term effects

Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable.

While pollutants commonly found in indoor air are responsible for many harmful effects, there is considerable uncertainty about what concentrations or periods of exposure are necessary to produce specific health problems. People also react very differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants. Further research is needed to better understand which health effects occur after exposure to the average pollutant concentrations found in homes and which occurs from the higher concentrations that occur for short periods of time.

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Mr. Dan Linderman is an incredibly professional and very knowledgeable person as well as a home inspector. When he arrived at the home he greeted my wife and I with nothing but a firm handshake and bright smile. He spoke with us for a few minutes and got right to the inspection. He brought us into the home and went over with us everything he was about to do and asked if we had any questions and said if I'd like to walk with him while he did the inspection, I was more than welcome. While going through everything he was telling me what he was doing while teaching and showing me things I didn't know as well as letting me know what to look for as the years pass, on the house (deterioration, cracks as the house settles, pipes ect.) The overall inspection was absolutely awesome and once he finished up, he stayed and talked with us for a little while and answered any questions we had. I would recommend Mr. Linderman and Tri-State Property Inspections to anyone including my close family and friends, they combine good faith and workmanship and that is what I was looking for.

R.C., Ooltewah, TN

Last updated on  Oct 18, 2012