Ever heard of sick building syndrome? Many people haven’t, and unfortunately, that lack of information is negatively affecting their health. At Dust Doctors, it’s always been our goal to help Twin Cities residents breathe the cleanest indoor air possible. And now, at a time when we’re spending more time indoors than ever, paying close attention to our indoor air quality is critical.

Below, we explain what sick building syndrome is, how it can affect your health, and what you can do to address poor indoor air quality.

Sick Building Syndrome: What Is It?

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a health condition that develops as a result of exposure to poor indoor air quality. It can occur as a result of spending time inside your home, your workplace, or any other enclosed space. While researchers know that indoor air pollution is the culprit behind the SBS, they’re not certain whether the building itself is the cause of poor indoor air quality, or if the people inside it are the greatest contributing factor.

EPA experts estimate that between 30-50% of both new and remodeled buildings have poor indoor air quality. Worse, according to reports, nearly 4 million people lose their lives each year due to respiratory complications associated with unclean indoor air. 

Researchers have also found that unclean indoor air negatively affects concentration, productivity, and information processing. Sick building syndrome, though it’s a rather newly identified condition, is clearly a serious problem. If you believe you or your loved ones suffer from the condition, it’s critical that you address both your health and your home promptly.

Common Sick Building Syndrome Symptoms

Many people who suffer from SBS mistakenly assume they have the flu or even a severe cold. However, unlike the flu or a cold, SBS will not spontaneously resolve unless the source of the air pollution is treated. If you believe you may be living with SBS due to poor air quality inside your home, watch for the following common symptoms:

●        Difficulty breathing or chest tightness

●        Throat, nose, or skin irritation

●        Sneezing, runny nose, and other allergy-like symptoms

●        Body aches, headaches, or dizziness

●        Trouble concentrating or remembering things

●        Persistent fatigue

●        Fever, chills, or nausea

Keep in mind that many SBS symptoms mimic common allergy symptoms. If you suffer from allergies, you may notice that your typical allergy symptoms become more severe if SBS is also affecting your health. Because the condition affects everyone differently, it’s best to speak with a qualified medical professional to discuss your symptoms and concerns.

What You Can Do to Help Improve Sick Building Syndrome

Because SBS stems from unclean indoor air, addressing the source of the air pollution is essential to successfully treat any physical symptoms you may be suffering from. Some simple things you can do to improve your indoor air quality include:

●        Schedule routine duct cleaning. If you have central air and heat, you should have your ductwork cleaned at two-year intervals to maintain high-quality indoor air.

●        Clean your dryer vents. Moisture accumulation from unclean dryer vents can contribute to mold development inside your home. You should schedule professional dryer vent cleaning at least once a year, but more often if you do a lot of laundry.

●        Maintain your HVAC system properly. Professional A/C cleaning and furnace cleaning help keep your HVAC system as efficient and clean as possible. To maintain clean indoor air, you should have these appliances cleaned annually.

●        Install an air purification system. Adding an air purification system with HEPA filtration and UV sanitization can dramatically improve your indoor air quality. Though small, portable units do work, a more robust unit will undoubtedly maintain cleaner indoor air.

Dealing With Poor Indoor Air Quality? Contact Dust Doctors

If you believe your health is suffering as a result of exposure to unclean air inside your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Dust Doctors for help. We specialize in comprehensive duct cleaning, A/C cleaning, furnace cleaning, and air purification system installation and we’ve proudly served Twin Cities residents for over a decade. To request a free quote or learn more about our services, call our Little Canada, MN office today at 651-319-9777 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch.

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