Does My Home Need an Air Quality Test?
Indoor air quality refers to the quality of the air we breathe in closed spaces. It encompasses the pollutants, toxins, and contaminants affecting our respiratory health and well-being. Air particulates and chemical fumes make indoor air unsafe to inhale.
Air Quality Test
Conducting air quality tests ensures the safety and health of a building’s occupants. Air quality tests measure the concentration of pollutants in the air. Professionals can run these tests at different times during the day or over multiple days to get an accurate picture of the air quality in a space. If the test results indicate a problem, technicians mitigate the identified pollutants using the appropriate method.
Different Types of Air Quality Tests
There are several different types of air quality tests that can be used. Here are the most common methods and how they work.
Indoor Air Quality Monitor
An indoor air quality monitor is a device that measures air quality in enclosed spaces. Using sensors, it detects volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon dioxide (CO2), particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), temperature, and relative humidity. It also identifies the source of indoor pollution more accurately than traditional methods.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that enters a home through cracks and openings in the foundation. It can also be released from well water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers.
Testing involves a qualified technician using specialized equipment to take samples from the air or water to check radon levels. If the test detects higher-than-normal levels, you should take remediation measures to reduce the radon concentrations. The results are usually available within a few days.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and toxic gas produced as a by-product of burning fuel. It is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it is lethal if inhaled in large quantities.
Common sources of CO include gas and oil furnaces, gas stoves, water heaters, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, car exhaust fumes, and tobacco smoke. Carbon monoxide can also build up in poorly ventilated areas or if the ventilation system becomes blocked or clogged.
Carbon monoxide detectors are a necessary precaution to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. These devices detect trace amounts of the gas and alert you if it reaches dangerous levels.
Why You Should Test Your Home Air Quality
There are several reasons to test your indoor air quality. From health to HVAC efficiency, healthy air plays a large role in your daily life.
Improved Health Effects
Indoor air quality is a vital component of our health and well-being. Testing your home’s air quality exposes the dangerous allergens and toxins lingering in the air. Poor indoor air quality affects our health, causing eye, nose, or throat irritation and respiratory problems, such as asthma or chronic bronchitis. Exposure to poor air quality can also worsen pre-existing conditions like heart disease or diabetes.
Better HVAC Efficiency
Testing the air quality in your home increases efficiency and lowers electric bills. Poor indoor air quality reduces comfort due to inefficient HVAC systems. Once you address the sources of air contaminants, you ease the strain on the system. It consumes less energy since it doesn’t have to work extra to make your home comfortable.
Other solutions for improving the efficiency of an HVAC system include cleaning the air ducts. Dust, dirt, and debris accumulating in ducts interfere with airflow and reduce system efficacy. Cleaning ducts also improve indoor air quality by eliminating pollutants and allergens circulating in the air.
Reduced Home Odors
Air quality testing identifies sources of unpleasant odors in the home. Common sources include pets, indoor houseplants, mold growth, and smoke from cigarettes. It might also come from cleaning products, upholstery fabrics, foods cooked on the stove, and humidity levels.
Once you identify the source, take measures to reduce or eliminate it. It may include proper ventilation; air purifiers; regular cleaning of pets, furniture, and fabrics; eliminating smoking indoors; and reducing moisture levels in the home.
Indoor air quality impacts productivity. Polluted indoor air can lead to feelings of fatigue, irritability, and sickness. Investing in air quality testing allows you to maximize your working hours. It also allows you to adjust your cleaning routines. Having a cleaner home improves your comfort and mindset as well.
Solutions to Poor Indoor Air Quality
Here are a few things you can do to improve your home’s air quality after testing. Contact our air quality technicians for even more great ideas.
Clean, Replace, or Upgrade Air Filters
Cleaning existing air filters removes dust and debris clogging the filter. It allows more air to pass through and increases HVAC efficiency. Replacing old air filters with new ones ensures the system operates at peak performance, allowing it to trap more airborne particles and contaminants. Upgrade air filters to higher-grade types to capture smaller particles, such as dust mites or smoke particles, which are often too small for standard filters to trap.
Use an Indoor Air Purifier
Air purifiers work by cleansing the air of pollutants such as pollen, dust, pet dander, and smoke. They can also reduce odors. These items are especially popular with pet owners and those suffering from respiratory illnesses.
Open doors and windows for natural ventilation. Close them when you need to regulate the airflow in a room. It allows for fresh outdoor air to enter while removing stale indoor air from the space. It also minimizes moisture buildup inside the building. To maximize natural ventilation, ensure that windows and doors are clean and free from obstructions.
Often overlooked, controlling humidity is crucial to improving indoor air quality, as it reduces the growth of bacteria, mold, and dust mites. Use a dehumidifier to control humidity levels. This also creates a more comfortable living environment for you and your family.
Rugs and carpets are a great addition to any home, providing warmth, comfort, and a decorative touch. However, they need regular cleaning to keep them looking great and maintain healthy air quality. Frequent vacuuming removes dust, dirt, and other particles that build up over time.
However, deep cleaning is necessary to eliminate allergens and bacteria trapped in the fibers, affecting air quality. Deep clean your rugs, seats, and carpets once or twice a year, depending on how often you use them. Consider hiring a professional rug cleaner specializing in deep cleaning techniques for professional results.
Work With Professionals to Improve Air Quality
Contact professionals when testing and assessing the quality of indoor air. Our technicians also offer other services, including HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance; water heater services; duct services; ductless products; and smart thermostats. We serve the Macomb County and Greater Metro Detroit areas. C & C Heating & Air Conditioning offers affordable financing options to our customers. Contact C & C Heating & Air Conditioning today to find out more about our quality services.