Your home should be a safe haven for you and your family. You ensure your family’s water is clean and safe, but what about the air you breathe? The air within your home may not be as healthy as you think. Pollutants are invisible, and some are dangerous enough to cause respiratory infections. Air quality tests are the best way to identify contaminants in the air you’re breathing and to create a plan to rid your home of them.
When To Test Your Indoor Air Quality
Homeowners should have their air quality tested every 2 to 3 years to maintain safe, healthy indoor air, but scheduling testing sooner is advised if you notice issues. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether a home air quality test is worthwhile for you:
Health Concerns – If you or someone in your household has respiratory issues or allergies, or if you suspect that poor air quality is affecting your health, a home air quality test can help identify potential pollutants or allergens present in your indoor environment.
Suspected Contaminants – If you have a specific reason to suspect the presence of contaminants in your home, such as mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dust, or C02, an air quality test can provide you with valuable information about their levels and guide you in addressing the problem.
New Home or Renovations – If you have recently moved into a new home or have completed renovations, testing the air quality can help ensure that there are no lingering pollutants or chemical residues from construction materials, paint, or other sources.
Peace of Mind – Some homeowners simply prefer to understand their indoor air quality to ensure the health and comfort of their household. If you are curious about the overall air quality in your home, a test can provide insights and recommendations for improvement.
Sources of Indoor Air Problems
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) varies from home to home, as do the pollutants that can affect the occupants. Many sources can be responsible for indoor air pollution, including:
- Tobacco Smoke
- Gas Space Heaters, Wood Stoves & Gas Ranges
- Building Materials and Furnishings
- Excess Moisture/Humidity
- Central Heating and Cooling Systems
- Biological agents (pet dander, mold, mildew, pollen, dust mites, bacteria and viruses)
- Household Products (cleaners, disinfectants, paints, glues, solvents, personal care products, air fresheners and candles)
DIY Indoor Air Quality Testing Kits
While you may feel compelled to purchase an At-Home Air Test Kit, more reliable ways exist to discover what’s lurking in your air. False positives are common with DIY Air Tests. They also don’t test for all possible sources of contamination, nor do they provide a thorough assessment and recommendations to resolve air quality issues.
Why Hire a Professional Air Quality Inspector?
When testing indoor air quality, now is not the time for DIY kits or cutting corners. Paying a little more for professional air quality assessments provides you with the benefit of a trained technician’s experience. They’ll discuss your specific areas of concern, inquire about unexplained health issues and ask about your cleaning products. These questions help your technician identify air quality issues in your home and what to test for. They’ll also inspect your home, including the HVAC system, for subtle signs of water damage and possible mold growth.
Your air quality inspector will collect air and surface samples throughout your home, paying close attention to any issues identified during their inspection. Samples are sent to an accredited laboratory to identify and analyze the presence of biological, chemical and combustion pollutants. A well-executed test can provide valuable information and help you and your technician make informed decisions to improve the air quality in your home.