Homeowners in the Triad may wonder exactly what is indoor air quality and why does it matter? The air you breathe inside your home will always have some level of pollution. Indoor air quality or IAG is the measure of the level of common indoor air pollutants and its relationship to the comfort and health of occupants. Your family is exposed to unavoidable environmental air quality issues such as excessive humidity, vehicle traffic, and manufacturer products off-gassing when your HVAC filters or air ducts are clogged and dirty.
There are steps you can take to test indoor air quality and decrease the number of pollutants that circulate through the home’s HVAC system. According to The American Lung Association, the air in your home can be 5 to 70 times more polluted than the air you breathe outside. This is due to the accumulations of contaminants such as dust mites, animal dander, and pet hair – along with biological contaminants such as mold spores, pollen, viruses, and bacteria.
Testing for Mold
The best way to test your indoor air for mold is to seek the help of a professional mold tester that also specializes in air quality issues. One way to detect mold is by smell and any obvious health symptoms. If you notice a persistent musty odor in the home or observe signs of mold growth on window frames or in the basement, then you can purchase a mold test kit. These kits contain a prepared petri dish that is left on a flat surface within the home. Afterward, the sample is incubated for a few days and observed for signs of mold or it is sent to a lab for testing.
Testing for RadonRadon gases within the home are the result of decaying radioactive materials that leach into the home through cracks in walls, floors, the foundation, basement walls, or attached to dust that enters the home from outside. A short-term radon test (between 2-90 days) that meets EPA requirements can be completed with a number of radon test kit options, such as a charcoal canister kit. The sample you collect is then sent to a lab for analysis. If you have high levels of this toxic gas within the home, then a radon remediation service is the best way to find the source and have it safely removed.
Testing for Other Indoor Air Pollutants
VOCs are the gases emitted from certain materials and liquids. There are actually thousands of household and consumer products that emit VOCs, and the long-term health effects of these pollutants include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and much more. An indoor air quality monitor can pick up a wide range of harmful air pollutants such as smoke, carbon monoxide, dust, and the VOC fumes emitted from inks, paint, glue, perfume, household cleaning products, and alcohol-based liquids.
Contact Hawley Air Heating and Cooling at 336-231-1982 for air duct cleaning to reduce the number of air pollutants that are entering your home. We can also discuss your concerns with residential indoor air quality!