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How to Test the Air Quality of Your Home

Posted on Air Quality, Blog July 15, 2018

air quality testing

There is good news about the impact of air pollution on the health of children’s lungs. Overall, respiratory health has improved over the last 20 years. However, the same study by the University of Southern California also had bad news.

In areas with more pollution, children had a number of respiratory health issues. There was more asthma, lung damage, reduced lung function, and growth. When there was more air pollution, children had more days off school too.

The air in your home may be unsafe for you and your family to breathe. If you want to make sure your indoor air is safe, you can conduct regular tests. Here’s how to do air quality testing in your home.

Tell Tale Signs

There are a number of signs of poor air quality which might suggest indoor air quality testing would be a good idea. Allergic reactions are common. They may be caused by seasonal factors such as pollen or even the weather.

If you notice an unusual rise in allergic reactions there may be an air quality issue. Allergic reactions include coughs and sneezes. They also include headaches and watery eyes.

If you have any new or strange health problems this might be due to a contaminant in your home. These include nausea, rash, fever or unexplained tiredness. Pneumonia and bronchitis can also be the result of toxins which can be identified by a home air quality test.

If any construction is being done in your neighborhood this can generate dust. The dust could contain harmful chemicals or particles. These particles can enter your heating and air-conditioning system and affect your whole house.

Air Quality Testing

It is possible to do a home air quality test but if you suspect that there is a problem have a professional test carried out. A professional can test the air and also recommend what actions you should take. This is especially important if you need an official result when buying for selling a house.

A professional may be recommended by a home inspector, lender or realtor. Check professional air quality testers credentials. They may be a member of the Air Quality Association or the International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants.

Do It Yourself

The first step is to buy an air quality monitor. These devices test for several air quality factors.

Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs are chemical pollutants. Microscopic Particulate Matter or PM2.5 are allergens including dust particles. They also test for temperature and mold-inducing humidity.

Mold is detectable with your own senses. The smell of mold is distinctive and does not disappear with cleaning. Visible black spots and damp patches can also indicate mold.

Carbon monoxide is a hazard in the home. It can be produced by faulty or badly ventilated appliances such as stoves, heaters, fires, and furnaces. As it is odorless it may not be detected and can be fatal.

A carbon monoxide detector should be placed on all floors and especially near bedrooms so it will wake you when asleep. Change the batteries regularly as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Radon is a gas produced when uranium breaks down. It is radioactive and harmful. Some homes are at risk of radon contamination. A radon test kit can simply detect radon by leaving it in your home for a given period of time.

After the Test

If after air quality testing you do identify a problem you may find an air purifier helpful. These can reduce allergens and so help with allergic reactions. You may benefit from sanitation of ducts. If you believe there is any form of microbial growth in your HVAC system, a professional should be called immediately to conduct the appropriate tests. Only a certified professional should test for the presence of mold. Learn more about our Duct Sanitization process. For more information about duct cleaning in South Florida, click here.

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