People talk about the air quality and making sure the air is good, but how can anyone do that when nobody can see the air? It’s not like the air has a smell or a taste. If it does, then that’s usually an obvious indication that something isn’t quite right. However, there are other ways to tell if the air quality within a home isn’t good.

Thankfully, the signs of poor air quality can be seen and taken care of easily. It almost always involves keeping things clean, having proper airflow, and paying attention to one’s own body. So, keep reading to learn about these signs.

Worsening Health

Does it seem like no matter what, those colds keep coming back? How about feeling blah inside all the time? The air quality is likely bad within the house. This is the easiest way to tell if there is poor air quality, as it causes very real effects on the people living there.

These health issues can start cropping up due to poor indoor air quality:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Skin irritation
  • Rashes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Nasal issues
  • Congestion
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Frequent illness
  • Respiratory infections

Worsening health can be caused by numerous issues, and poor air quality is only one of them. If ever concerned about health, seek help from a medical professional.

Excessive Dirt

Dirt is a fact of life, especially if living out in the country down a long dirt road or nearby a lot of construction. However, if it seems like dust and dirt just won’t stop accumulating, it could be a sign that there is poor air quality within the home. Check for dirty ductwork and how much dust is settling on things around the home. Be sure to also check behind unusual spaces not usually cleaned such as behind the toilet, along windowsills, and in corners.

Bad Smells

Bad, musty, and stale smells are surefire ways to tell if there is poor air quality within a home. These bad smells are almost always caused by mold and mildew. Of course, if the litter box hasn’t been cleaned in a week, that could also be a contributing factor to bad smells! Outside of the obvious though, try opening up the windows for a bit and see if that helps cut down the smells.

Incorrect Humidity

Humidity is something most people know is an issue if it goes too far, but it’s not often known that too little humidity is also a bad idea. The ideal range is between 40%-60% humidity. High levels promote bacterial growth and mold, and damage wood. Prolonged mold exposure and mildews can lead to numerous respiratory issues, even in those not suffering from mold allergies. Excessive mold exposure has also been linked to numerous other serious health issues.

Low humidity means that viruses can survive longer and spread more easily, meaning it’s going to take longer to get better once someone’s gotten sick.

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help with incorrect humidity levels. Some are all-in-one units that will regulate the air humidity and keep it within an ideal range. Be sure to have these in appropriate sizes for the home. That may mean having multiple units in separate rooms or might involve opting for a permanent one to be installed by a professional.

Poor Airflow

Not having adequate airflow often leads to poor air quality. Without the circulation of fresh, clean air, irritants and allergens will linger in the air. Check all of the vents from time to time to see if they are blowing properly. Open up the windows on nice days for a time and ensure that the HVAC system is in proper working order.

This poor airflow can also be found in hot and cold spots throughout the home. This is typically caused by dirty filters or coils, a blockage, a leak, or an improperly sized unit. If it seems like there might be an issue with the unit as a whole, it’s best to call in a professional for servicing.


Air quality is an important metric that often gets pushed to the wayside. There are so many other things people have to worry about in their daily lives that it’s easy to forget that the air is important too. Having poor air quality within a home can lead to numerous health issues, excessive amounts of dirt, and potential damage to the home itself. Thankfully, it’s something that can easily be taken care of.


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