Top Tips for Monitoring Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

December 18, 2020

A report by the EPA suggests that Americans spend approximately 87% of their time indoors. Very often, indoor air is more toxic than the atmosphere outside. Furthermore, more people are now working from home than ever before. Therefore, you need to pay attention to the indoor air quality in your house. Here are some tips on how to detect when your indoor air quality is deteriorating.

Find the Source of Pollutants

Before you think about using sensors to monitor indoor air quality, it is wise to first locate the source of the contaminants. The pollution could come from many different sources, including your HVAC system.

Dust and debris within the ducts and other parts of your equipment will find its way back into the interior. At [Company_name], we recommend scheduling maintenance that includes thorough cleaning in Amherst to protect your home and equipment. You should also pay attention to activities taking place around your home.

Understand the Contaminants You Need to Monitor

The most common contaminants you’ll find in most residential buildings are VOCs, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter. Furnishings, household items, and detergents may release VOCs (Volatile organic compounds).

Particulate matter can be generated by construction activities, smoking, and fireplaces. The particles can be very small and can get into the respiratory system and may cause irritation. Urban areas like New York are prone to high levels of particulate matter, from roads, gasoline to industrial waste.

Once you pinpoint the source, you can then work to remove the pollutants. If there is a piece of furniture releasing VOCs, you may want to take it out of your home. You can then use sensors to determine if there are still traces of the contaminants in your home.

Importance of Monitoring Temperature and Humidity

The level of humidity in your home can have adverse effects on indoor air quality in several ways. Low levels of humidity can cause dry eyes, itching, and sore throats. On the other hand, excess moisture in the air will make you feel sweaty and exhausted.

High levels of humidity can also impact indoor air quality by encouraging the growth of mildew spores and microbes. With the right level of moisture and temperature, these microorganisms can wreak havoc in your home. If the infestation continues, it will weaken parts of the structure.

Humidity can also introduce allergens into your home. Moisture creates a suitable environment for dust mites to thrive. Vapor can carry molecules that it will dispose of later to other parts of your home through condensation. VOCs can also spread faster when the humidity level is high.

Finding Suitable Sensors for Your Home

After you determine which pollutants pose a threat in your home, you can then start monitoring your indoor air quality. The type of device you choose will depend on the particles you want to monitor.

Particulate matter monitors are the most common and inexpensive devices in the market today. Most monitors will have their values given in micrometers indicating the size of particles they can measure.

For residential applications, the device will often have a value of between 2.5μm and 0.5μm (micrometers). A 2.5μm value means the monitor can detect fine particles from combustible organic compounds.

However, most home devices hardly go below the 1.0μm mark. To monitor particles beyond those values, you will need industrial-grade sensors.

You can also find monitors for humidity, VOCs, and other specific pollutants such as formaldehyde. One of the most important factors to consider is accuracy. The results should not vary between tests taken at different times. The device should be able to pick up low levels of pollutants

Also, the device should send out an alert immediately it detects contaminants. The speed of its response will allow you to take action to stop its spread to other parts of your home. You may want to pick a monitor that is easy to use and has already been calibrated. Modern monitors can connect with your smartphone and send you reports on the status of your indoor air quality.

Addressing Indoor Air Quality Issues

The monitor’s location is critical when trying to determine the type of pollutants and the affected areas of your home. Avoid placing the monitor close to direct sunlight, heat, or other electronics. Heat and electromagnetic waves can also change the values on your sensors.

If you suspect there is an indoor air quality concern, Vastola Heating & Cooling in Amherst will be glad to offer quality solutions. Our certified team can review your needs and explain your options.

Our technicians have experience with REME air purifiers, as well as other top brands and models. You can depend on Vastola Heating & Cooling in Amherst for unbeatable offers in heating, cooling, and indoor air quality solutions.