Poor indoor air quality can pose numerous health hazards, from immediate hazards like carbon monoxide (CO) to long-term side effects from mold growth or formaldehyde emissions.
Some symptoms are easy to recognize, such as musty odor or visible water damage on walls. But others require professional observation, sampling and testing.
Here is a short list of some indications you should get an air quality test. If you see any signs of poor indoor air quality, call the professionals at Autumn Air to help you with your air care concerns.
Why an indoor air quality test is important
Animal dander and bacteria, chemical pollutants including cleaners, personal care products, paints, solvents, glues and combustion-related emissions such as furnace or fireplace fumes can contaminate the air in any home.
Several pollutants can contaminate the air inside homes and can wreak havoc on your family’s health and well being if left untreated. Problems such as carbon monoxide leaks and mold growth can be extremely hazardous and potentially fatal if left undealt with.
Homeowners are advised to conduct an air quality test when there are concerns regarding family well-being or conditions that could deteriorate further, such as a mold infestation.
Homeowners seeking solutions for indoor air quality issues should seek professional help to conduct more in-depth testing for potential contaminants like VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and mold. Professionals can also recommend specific solutions to improve indoor air quality after the assessment.
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Symptoms of indoor air quality issues
Bad indoor air quality can range in severity and affect individuals in a wide array of symptoms, including:
- Sneezing and nasal congestion
- Eye irritation
- Shortness of breath
An IAQ (indoor air quality) test can measure the presence of gasses like carbon monoxide, radon, formaldehyde and particulates such as dust and pollen as well as specific chemicals or contaminants like benzene, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), lead or cigarette smoke.
Some indoor air pollutants include cigarette smoke, water vapor from humidity, furnace emissions and fireplace smoke. Others more frequently enter homes or buildings through leaky pipes and construction dust.
Before purchasing a home or business, it can be advantageous to conduct an air quality test. Companies perform basic air quality assessments for buyers as well as identify specific contaminants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that need corrective actions taken against them.
Doing this can mitigate buyer risk while creating a healthy living or working environment for occupants.
Remediation of indoor air quality issues
Air quality improvement can often be accomplished easily in your home, and many pollutants tested for can often be easily reduced or eliminated by directly targeting their source, such as hiring a mold removal team to treat damp areas or installing a whole-house dehumidifier to deal with excess moisture.
Homeowners usually opt for an air quality test when they notice new allergies or respiratory conditions, remodel a house and are concerned about possible contamination, or experience a disaster such as flooding or fire that releases chemicals into the atmosphere.
It’s recommended to implement systems and procedures beforehand – prevention is always best!
Prevention of indoor air quality issues
Whenever there’s cause for concern in your environment, an air quality test is an essential first step. And for specific pollutants like mold or carbon monoxide, professional tests offer additional assistance.
There are various methods available for detecting air pollution, including at-home monitors that can detect ozone and airborne particles, and in some cases, check for radon as well as other environmental contaminants.
In addition, monitoring companies offer routine checks of air quality with apps or dedicated display panels that display readings or values; some even pair with smart devices like thermostats to give an even more tailored experience.
Home inspection companies also offer professional home inspections that test for allergens like pet dander and dust mites, volatile organic compounds, asbestos fibers, radon gas and more. Talk to a professional and make sure your home is safe for you and your family.