Indoor Air Quality Testing: An Essential Guide

Woman Opening Window for Air

Testing has shown that sometimes, the air inside a home is more polluted than the outside air. When it comes to indoor air quality, if the air circulating through your home is less than healthy, it could be making family members sick or aggravate breathing problems. Indoor air quality testing will let you know for sure about the quality of the air in your home. Then an air quality specialist can recommend certain changes to improve the air quality from air filtering systems or upgrades to your heating and cooling system.

Common Indoor Pollutants

Common indoor pollutants in a home are put into three classifications. These include:

  1. Biological pollutants – mold, dust mites, dander, pollen, and bacteria.
  1. Chemical pollutants such as lead and radon.
  1. Combustion pollutants such as carbon monoxide and tobacco smoke.

Biological Pollutants

Some biological pollutants are easy to detect because they cause allergic reactions. These naturally occurring viruses and toxins spread through the air and cause sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and even dizziness. If someone at home constantly experiences these things, it’s a good idea to have the indoor air quality tested. Mold is one of the leading problems. Air-borne mold circulates through a house from room to room and attaches to bedding, clothing, etc. Dust mites multiply and burrow into mattresses, bedding, sofas, and carpets. Allergens from dust mites can trigger asthma, wheezing, and other breathing problems. Although it’s generated in the outside air, pollen can find its way inside a home and get caught in the circulating air. Pollen also causes sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes.

Chemical Pollutants

Chemical pollutants are considered general volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are invisible vapors or gases that come from chemical products in a home. They may come from things like paints, cleaners, disinfectants, wood finishes, and even dry-cleaned clothes. Lead is one of the most common VOCs. Lead is dangerous to human health and safety. As a result, lead has been removed from many products. But if you live in an older home, you should have the home tested for lead. Another VOC is radon gas. This is a naturally occurring substance found in some soil. If the soil is disturbed around a home, radon gas can seep into a house from cracks in the foundation. For this reason, it is good to have a radon monitor in your home if your neighborhood has been identified as likely to have radon. Prolonged exposure to radon gas has been shown to cause lung cancer.

Combustion Pollutants

The number one combustion pollutant in homes is environmental tobacco smoke. It is also known as secondhand smoke. Environmental tobacco smoke is a mix of more than 4,000 compounds and about 40 of these carcinogens. Environmental tobacco smoke can lead to respiratory tract infections as well as pneumonia or bronchitis. Carbon monoxide is another common home combustion pollutant. It is a colorless and odorless gas that can cause people to become unconscious. The sources of carbon monoxide include unvented kerosene or gas space heaters, fireplaces, and woodstoves.

Air Purifier on Table

Indoor Air Quality Testing

Indoor air quality testing in Gainesville, GA, involves testing for the sources of indoor biological, chemical, and combustion pollutants. Once the origins of these pollutants have been identified, the indoor air quality testing company will make recommendations to remove or reduce the sources of these pollutants. Air filtration is the best approach to cleaning the air. In spring and summer, it is always a good idea to let the fresh air inside. It will take time to clean the air inside your home, but having better indoor air quality will help you have a happier and healthier family.

To learn more about indoor air quality testing and how to improve the air in your home, call Gainesville Mechanical at 770.532.9130.

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