We hear a lot about air quality outdoors. From smog and smoke, to pollen and pollutants, it seems there’s always something new to worry about when it comes to the air we breathe. Most people expect to drop those worries at their front door. While coming home can indeed induce sighs of relief, the air quality in our personal spaces may not be as good as we expect.
Maintaining good indoor air quality can help keep you and your family is vital to your healthy and safety. Professional air quality testing can help identify you understand what is in the air you are breathe at home and work.
What is Air Quality Testing?
Air quality testing measures the air for mould, radon, allergens, and other potentially harmful airborne particles. The results of such testing can determine whether the quality of your air is dangerous or safe. A professional test can give you an accurate understanding of what’s in the air at home or office.
Air quality tests are conducted using special monitors and detection tools. Assessments usually take an hour or two. An Aire Serv professionals will visually inspect the space, looking for anything that might be a red flag. Air samples are collected to look for VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and air and surface samples are taken when mould is a concern. The appointment is relatively unobtrusive – there’s no mess to clean up or damage done while in the collecting samples.
Once air quality testing results are available, you’ll receive a detailed report and summary of the inspection, including lab results, and professional recommendations for the next steps.
Common Air Quality Testing Results
Professional air quality testing can identify three main pollutants: biological, chemical, and combustion. The biological category includes things like pollen, dander, dust mites, bacteria, and mould. These are often a direct result of the living things in your home.
Even if you don’t have many plants or pets inside your space, biological pollutants are inevitable. Many of them are carried indoors with welcoming guests, or from simply opening the windows. Just venturing outside can track biological pollutants in your home.
Chemical pollutants, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are non-living substances. Lead, formaldehyde, and radon are all examples of chemical pollutants frequently found in homes and workplaces. Lead is often found in paints and walls of older homes. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that leaks from a home’s foundation via fissures and cracks. It’s hazardous, and one of the most common causes of lung cancer. Formaldehyde is also found in various household items and construction materials. VOCs are incredibly dangerous and should be kept to the minimum levels possible indoors.
Combustion pollutants come from anything that ignites. Secondhand cigarette smoke is a common example, as is carbon monoxide. Even candles can emit combustion pollutants that threaten the air quality in your home.
When to Assess Your Air Quality
If you’re curious about how often or when to perform air quality testing, the answer lies with your eyes and nose. Be on the lookout for tell-tale signs of pollutants like visible water damage or discoloration to your walls, ceilings, or floors. Odd, persistent odours can be associated with chemical emissions from building materials, gas leaks, and sources of hidden moisture.
You may notice certain health impacts when indoor air quality is poor. Persistent headaches, coughing, and congestion may indicate a problem. This is especially true if you live or work in an older building. Lead paint and asbestos insulation were once extremely commonplace in older buildings, so it’s important to call in an expert to investigate any suspicions you might have about indoor air quality.
Of course, not all indoor air pollutants are obvious. Chemicals like radon and carbon monoxide are odourless and colourless. If you have even the slightest concern about the presence of such gases, it’s important to take action. It’s better to perform professional air quality testing to confirm or deny your suspicions about contaminants rather than leave your family’s health in question.
Frequently Asked Questions About Air Quality Testing
We’re often asked: how can you ensure best air quality? Routine testing is the answer. Here are answers to some more frequently asked questions:
How Often Should a Home or Business Have the Air Quality Tested?
Frequency of air quality testing should be based on the results of your initial test. In addition, any changes to your system, usage, breathing, or comfort level should initiate a test to confirm current conditions. For example, if your home originally tested high for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) count you should retest every 90 days until the air quality issue is resolved. Once the VOC issue is under control, annual retesting is recommended. If initial testing indicates no issues, a testing schedule of once every three years is recommended.
What is the Most Common Pollutant Found During Professional Air Quality Testing?
A high particulate count (dust, pollen, etc.) is the most common air quality testing result., This is followed very closely by an elevated VOC levels, which in many cases can be addressed with professional guidance.
How Can a Home or Business Owner Ensure the Best Air Quality for Their Family or Employees?
Using controlled and filtered ventilation is one of the best ways to maintain good indoor air quality. Many people will open windows at night during spring and fall to “let in the fresh air.” However, this air contains high levels of humidity, dust, and mould spores, which reduce air quality. Once these contaminants are in the home, when you close the windows and turn on the air conditioning the next morning, you create the perfect environment for dust mites to prosper and mould spores to grow. Careful attention should be paid to uncondition outdoor conditions as in relation to indoor air quality.
What is the Easiest and Most Affordable Way to Prevent Poor Air Quality in a Home or Business?
Air quality testing can help you identify and eliminate specific contaminants so you don't spend money trying to eliminate something that’s not an issue. you don't have. A high-quality filter system can help eliminate most contaminants, but other chemical compounds cannot be filtered and can only be eliminated using alternate methods. An Aire Serv professional can provide you with the best options for eliminating such contaminates.
How Can I Quickly Improve the Air Quality in My Home or Business?
After a professional air quality test, you may be eager to freshen up your space. Change the filters in your HVAC system, remove all candles, incense, and air fresheners, and use natural or low- VOC cleaning compounds whenever possible.
Why It’s Best to Call in the Professionals
While air quality monitors and DIY tests exist, it’s always best to hire a professional to perform air quality testing. An expert has the knowledge, equipment, and first-hand experience necessary to take accurate air samples. Using the best testing equipment available, a highly-trained air quality professional will sample the air in your home or business to identify potential issues and offer a viable solution.
Schedule Your Professional Air Quality Testing Now
Knowing what is in the air you breathe is important to the health of you and your family. You can count on the professionals at Aire Serv to identify potential contaminants and offer solutions to resolving your air quality issues. Our professionals brings a wealth of knowledge to every job – from concerns about indoor air quality to ongoing HVAC maintenance needs to heating and cooling issues, we’re ready to tackle it all.
Trust Aire Serv to perform professional air quality testing in your home or office. To schedule your appointment, contact us online or call us at (855) 512-2886.