Determining if You Need an Indoor Air Quality Test on Your Home
Having healthy air quality in your home is essential for maintaining the health and safety of your family. If you are concerned about the air quality in your home, an air quality test can measure levels of contaminants in the air.
Knowledge is power, and an air quality test can be a powerful tool for determining the type of contaminants present in your home. By understanding a few key basics about air quality and indoor air quality testing, you can make an informed decision about whether an air quality test is the right choice for your needs.
Indoor Air Quality Basics
A healthy home should maintain a certain level of air quality. In general, residential indoor air quality is determined by the presence of four types of contaminants: dust, airborne particles, radon gas, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). All four of these contaminants, if present in high enough concentrations, can be harmful to human health.
Dust and particulate matter tend to be the contaminants of the highest concern for most people as they can contribute to respiratory issues such as asthma and allergies. Dust includes particles such as pet dander, mold spores, and insect debris, while particulate matter includes substances such as smoke, soot, and pollen.
Radon gas is an invisible and odorless byproduct of uranium decay. While it is present to some degree in all homes, levels that are too high can be hazardous to anyone living in the home and may lead to respiratory illnesses.
VOCs are organic compounds that can have both natural and man-made sources. They are often found in household cleaners, paint products, pesticides, and other substances that are used in and around the home. When present at high enough levels, VOCs can cause headaches, nausea, difficulty concentrating, and other troubling health issues.
Signs That You May Need Indoor Air Quality Testing
If you are concerned about your home’s indoor air quality, it may be beneficial to have an indoor air quality test performed. There are certain signs that you may need to have air quality testing done, including:
- Visible mold or mildew in your home
- Unusually strong or persistent odors
- Asthma and allergy symptoms that are worse when inside the home
- Recent renovations or remodeling projects
- High levels of dust or particulate matter visible in air vents and ducts
- Recent water damage
Furthermore, if anyone in your home has been experiencing vague, unexplained symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, or difficulty concentrating, air quality testing can help to determine if the symptoms are related to indoor air contaminants. While it’s always best to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical issues, air quality testing can be an important additional step in understanding the cause of any unexplained health complications.
What Does Air Quality Testing Entail?
Air quality testing can be done in several ways. Most commonly, air quality tests measure the presence of VOCs, radon gas, and particulate matter. The tests measure the number of contaminants in the air and provide an overall picture of air quality in the home.
The testing process itself is relatively straightforward and non-invasive. Air quality tests often involve setting up a few small monitoring devices in the home and leaving them for a period of several days. The devices measure the presence of contaminants and are collected by a technician after the monitoring period is over. The results can then be analyzed to determine whether the air in the home is safe.
If air quality tests reveal that levels of contaminants are higher than they should be, it may be necessary to take steps to reduce the contaminants in order to improve indoor air quality. Common solutions for improving air quality include installing air purifiers, switching the products you use in the home, and improving ventilation.
Simply put, air quality testing is an important part of maintaining a safe and healthy home environment. If you have any concerns about your home’s indoor air quality, it pays to have a professional air quality test performed. The results can give you peace of mind and, if necessary, provide the information needed to take steps for better breathing.
Indoor air quality testing and improvement are two of the many services we offer at Vastola Heating & Cooling. Serving Orchard Park, NY, and the surrounding areas, we also provide top-quality heating, cooling, ductwork, and boiler services for year-round comfort. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you improve the air quality in your home.