A good night’s sleep is crucial to you and your family’s health, but what impacts your quality of sleep? While the amount of sleep you get each night is easy to keep track of, it may surprise you to discover that the indoor air quality (IAQ) of your home plays a major role in how well you sleep.
For example, a 2019 study found that nitrogen dioxide (from the burning of fossil fuels) and particulate matter in the air put people at higher risk for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. A 2016 study also found that increased levels of CO2 in the air contributed to significantly worse quality sleep, as well as decreased cognitive abilities the following day.
Poor IAQ leads to poor sleep, which weakens the immune system and puts you and your family at risk for illness. Clearly, the solution is to address your indoor air quality problems. But how do you know if you’re suffering from the negative effects of poor IAQ, and how do you make changes for the better?
How Do I Know If I Have Poor Indoor Air Quality?
Poor indoor air quality can be tricky to self-diagnose, and many people often misattribute the symptoms of poor indoor air quality to the usual scapegoats, like seasonal allergies. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you should be on the lookout for the following signs which can indicate poor indoor air quality in your bedroom:
Musty or moldy smells, visible mold or water
Dizziness and fatigue
What’s Causing My Indoor Air Quality Problems?
Poor indoor air quality can be traced back to a number of different causes and pollutants. Crawlspaces and basements are often damp places that can be breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which can travel up into your living spaces via gaps in flooring and insulation or via your home’s ductwork. Tiny cracks and air leaks between your living space and the outside can also bring in air that carries pollutants and particulate matter.
Sleeping in poorly ventilated rooms can exacerbate IAQ issues, giving you sleep problems and making you feel tired during the day.
How Can I Improve My Indoor Air Quality?
There are a number of home improvements you can make to your home to increase your indoor air quality, providing more comfort for you and your family and helping you sleep better. Changing your HVAC filters, reducing your home’s humidity levels, and cleaning regularly will all make a difference in the quality of air in your living spaces.
Additionally, air sealing, together with insulation, can help fortify your house against outside elements. Both of these home performance upgrades will contribute to a tight thermal boundary around your home, that will prevent high levels of dirty outdoor air from getting inside while also addressing moisture issues that will lead to mold as well.
Crawlspace encapsulation is another overlooked area that can make a big difference when it comes to indoor air quality. Sealing off your crawlspace with a vapor barrier and air sealing will prevent moisture and dirt from building up and sending indoor pollution into the rest of your house through ductwork.
Energy Smart Puts IAQ First
But before you take any of the previous steps to address the IAQ of your Greencastle or Lancaster home, contact Energy Smart Home Improvement. Our home energy audits can help diagnose the exact problem areas in your home performance, so that the only upgrades you end up making are the ones that will really make a difference in your IAQ. We also offer indoor air quality testing as well, so you can get to the problem of your IAQ issues quickly, and on your way to cleaner air and many nights of good sleep.