My family and I wake up in the mornings with running noses, sore
throats, red eyes, etc. I have a history of allergies but my wife and
her mother have never had them. Even our baby has a clear running
nose. There are times of the year when this is worse. But now it is
fall and we sleep with the windows closed so the foliage should not
effect us as we sleep.
Could it be the house is making us feel sick? Maybe I should clean
the vents. Maybe it is the large amount of plants around the outside
of the house. Could it be something else in the house? Mold hiding
somewhere? Some type of insect?
Have you guys ever heard of anything like this? Any solutions?
I suggest that if you are concerned then hire a professional inspector.
Just cleaning ducts etc is not likely to fix a problem if you really have
one because you may well miss what you need to fix.
Be aware that many inspectors tend to find molds almost anywhere. After
all molds are almost anywhere. Pick the inspector carefully. Find one that
will provide a honest comprehensive appraisal. You would be very hard
pressed to find a home that did not have some molds.
There is one danger in hiring a professional. Once mold has been found
in your home, you may be required to take action and are likely required to
report this to any future buyer of the home.. Check this out locally before
you go ahead. Also check your home owner's insurance about mold coverage.
Consider all your options.
The first thing I would due is to buy a good humidistat and determine
what the humidity is in various parts of your home. If you find less than
about 40% (even fairly good humidistats are not very accurate) I would look
at that first. Air that is too dry often causes these conditions. If you
find greater than about 65% I would look to reduce it to 60% or less as that
may be a cause of mold. Check all areas of your home even areas that you
don't normally live in like the basement. The answer may be as simple as
I would also consider visiting a doctor, especially for the child and
asking them about your question.
Thanks for all the great suggestions.
When you say inspector, do you mean a building inspector? And would he
be looking only for mold?
My house is about 17 years old. It isn't brand new and I know it isn't
too tight to let airflow through. Wouldn't all the construction gasses
all be out by now? IN the summer we leave lots of windows open.
We don't use a humidifier. I tried it once and didn't like it.
We don't use a gas space heater.
Google sick house syndrome. It is a known phenomena caused by the outgassing
of the chemicals used in home/furniture/carpet construction. Closing the
windows makes it worse as it traps the air pollutants inside. You didn't say
how old the house is. Newer homes with their tighter construction are more
prone to it.
The spring and fall seem to be times when neither the cooling or
heating systems are running in a lot of houses ( depending on local
climate of course ).
In that case, you may get stagnant air in the house, 'tight house'
syndrome mentioned above. Try leaving a window or two open and see if
some increased air exchanges makes the problem any less for you.
Do you have a drum type humidifier? We found that they tend to breed all
sorts of nasties during the warmer months if the water tray isn't emptied in
the spring when the humidifier is not being used. This stuff then gets
spread into the heating system when the warm furnace air hits it.We were
getting sore throats and general cold symptoms in the fall , but it would
hit us all at the same time and not get better or worse for several days
unlike a cold. We replaced the drum type with a metal mesh type ( no
standing water) and had no more problems.
Just a thought
I agree with this too. Every October my family wouild get sick and stay sick
all winter. Finally traced it to the drum type humidifier. Replaced it with
a running water type and problem went away. The chemicals they sell to
prevent mold/bacterial growth in dehumidifiers did not help one bit.
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