Your home’s indoor air quality, or IAQ, plays a significant role in keeping you and your family healthy and keeping your HVAC system running efficiently. Discover the various methods you can use to test your home’s IAQ so that you can determine the best solution to improve it.
Use a Home Indoor Air Quality Monitor
One of the easiest ways to test your home’s IAQ with actionable data is to purchase a home air quality monitor. This device contains multiple sensors to provide data on various aspects of air quality. Exactly what it tests will vary from device to device, but many will continuously monitor temperature, particulate matter, chemical pollutants, and humidity.
Monitor Carbon Monoxide and Radon Levels
In terms of your family’s health, carbon monoxide and radon are two very dangerous contaminants you may find in your home. Gas furnaces and water heaters create this gas as the fuel burns and can leak into your home if the appliance is damaged. Radon is naturally found in the ground, and its radioactive properties can lead to lung cancer. The best way to test for these specific contaminants is to have devices that specifically monitor for them.
Evaluate Your Health
Your health is an important indicator of what’s going on in your environment, including in your home. Various allergens are common contaminants found in homes and may cause stronger or more frequent allergic reactions or asthma attacks. However, you may also experience more frequent illness when you have poor IAQ.
Poor indoor air quality is most commonly associated with various forms of respiratory ailments. Symptoms you may experience include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and watery eyes, especially while you’re home. If these symptoms are connected to your home’s IAQ, they will recur, and you’ll experience them most strongly while you’re physically present in your home.
Use Your Sense of Smell
Your sense of smell can tell you a lot about what’s in the air. After all, it’ll tell you when something’s cooking, burning, or when you’re near a skunk. However, many common indoor contaminants have an odor too.
A strong musty smell indicates various biological contaminants connected to excessive humidity. While you won’t smell carbon monoxide, if you have a cracked heat exchanger, you may have a strong chemical smell like formaldehyde.
Use an Air Purifier
Mobile and room air purifiers can be exceptionally effective for improving your home’s air quality. However, some models may also help you test your indoor air quality.
While these likely won’t help you identify what contaminants are in your air, they may still offer some information. Some models have a basic sensor to evaluate airborne particles. They may have an indicator light on the control panel that will give some indication of a problem with your air quality and if the purifier is performing effectively.
Test for Mold
There are many at-home tests you can use to test for mold. It’s important to remember that mold spores are all around us, so having them in the air is perfectly normal, and there is no way to rid your air of all spores. However, an overabundance of those spores indicates that you have a likely problem with a source of those additional spores in your home. You can pick up simple test kits at many hardware stores or online retailers. If you want a better test, plan to add a lab test, which identifies the type of mold found floating around your home.
Hire a Professional
If you want the best possible testing for your air quality, you may want to consider hiring a professional IAQ team. This team is equipped with specialized equipment that not only provides an overall air quality score rating on the Air Quality Index but also breaks that down into what’s in your air. If you’re going to improve your air quality, you need not only a mitigation strategy like an air purifier or scrubber but also a strategy for dealing with underlying causes of poor air quality. This often includes balancing your home’s humidity and managing other underlying sources of airborne contaminants.
People around Richmond trust Affordable Service Solutions Heating & Air Conditioning to help them keep their home’s air safe and healthy. Our team of expert technicians provides indoor air quality testing together with heating and air conditioning installation, repair, and maintenance. Call to schedule your consultation with one of our indoor air quality experts today.