Indoor Air Problems? Where to Start?
Recently, we have noticed that everytime we are in the living room, our nose/throat/eyes get irritated. When the heater comes on, it's worse. Most of us start coughing. I feel my throat burning.
Something doesn't feel right. When the sun beams into the house, the air looks filthy with many dust particles. Some of us have been coughing a lot and have had bronchitis recently. Kids seem to be congested with runny nose often (which could also be simply because it's winter.)
We have a pretty fancy air purifier that is supposed to be good for up to 1500 sq ft and have it running 24/7. When the heater comes on, it often triggers the purifier to go into high gear. When kids rough play nearby, the machine also kicks up to high gear.
Our house is extremely leaky. We have cracked windows and visible holes around many windows and doors. Last year's wildfire was really hard. We felt so defeated when the official recommendation was to keep the doors and windows shut and stay inside when we knew indoor air was pretty much the same as outdoors. I wonder if we should have had some sort of professional cleaner come out and detox the house after the wildfire. Did anyone do that? Any recommendation?
We replaced the HVAC air filter recently.
Some ideas we have are the following but it's so overwhelming and I'm not sure what to do first or where to start:
- get PGE to come out and inspect the furnace which has never been looked at for the 3 years we have lived here and we have no idea when it was last inspected
- get the air duct clean (is there a company that inspects, maintains and cleans furnace and air duct?)
- get a consultant to come out and inspect indoor air quality and check for dust, mold, asbestos, lead, etc.
- replace the couch
- get the area rugs professionally cleaned or replace them (these are not fancy rugs and have never been professionally cleaned in the 10 years we have had them)
- get a deep cleaning service
- fire the current cleaner and hire a better house cleaner (our current cleaner comes every other week but doesn't seem to dust well but I don't think it's entirely the cleaner's fault. I think it's the house. I just dusted yesterday and I see a noticeable layer of dust today.)
- lift up the couch and vacuum under the couch which sits low to the ground and I'm pretty sure it has not been vacuumed underneath for years
I feel pretty lost and helpless and don't know where to start. I feel overwhelmed and anxious that ou house is poisoning us and worried that it's causing allergy and asthma for the kids.
I would truly appreciate any tips / help you can provide.