5 reasons your home may need indoor air quality testing—ac maintenance
January 2, 2023
Things that pollute the air in your internal space can be scary even though you cannot see them with your naked eyes. As a result, your home can accumulate odors, discomfort, and health issues that worry you. When you no longer feel comfortable because of your indoor air quality, it may be time to opt for air quality testing in your home.
Ignoring signs of poor air quality in your home carries a high risk because what you cannot see can be more harmful to your health than what you can see. Your indoor space can have several looming and invisible dangers you should not breathe in, and here are reasons you need to test your air quality:
Radon is an odorless and colorless chemical that looms in your indoor air. It can be a deadly gas that poses serious health threats. Most people who inhale the gas for too long can develop lung cancer without knowing it. With appropriate indoor air quality testing, a professional can help you detect the amount of radon hanging around your home. You can use charcoal canisters to test the air quality in your home. However, it is best to hire professional help to ensure proper testing.
Following the EPA report, if the detected radon in your home is at 1.3 picocuries per liter, it is moderate and cannot pose any damaging health problems. However, any home with higher radon levels, such as four or more picocuries per liter, is at high risk of health problems and should seek immediate treatment.
2. Volatile organic compounds
If you have just installed a shower curtain or carpeting material, you will likely perceive a chemical odor that maintains a presence in your home for a few days or weeks. What you breathe in from that material is the off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Apart from carpeting or curtain material, several products you have brought into your home disperse VOCs without your knowledge. It could be your paints, cleaners, or new furniture. Sometimes, detecting the odor of VOCs in some items can be impossible. However, they remain in the background and cause health problems in your home. Most situations the chemicals cause are short-term, such as nausea and headaches. But they can also cause long-term issues threatening your health when repeatedly exposed.
Even though carrying out indoor air quality testing to check for the level of VOCs in a home might not help you get to the root of the problem due to poor interpretation of the results, professionals can still use the air quality testing standards to detect harmful volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde. The mixture is a carcinogen, and it is present in combustion appliances, wood, tobacco smoke, and fabrics.
3. Bacteria, Mildew, and Mold
While homeowners primarily fear chemical contaminants, biological contaminants are also dangerous. It is best to worry about contaminants like mildew, fungus, bacteria, mold, and viruses rather than ignore them. Indeed, these harmful microorganisms are invisible, growing and multiplying in humid and warm air. But you can avoid them if you are conscious and vigilant about your home's humidity. You can control moist situations by inspecting and maintaining your basements and fixing bathroom leaks.
According to the CDC report, mold is the leading cause of many health symptoms, such as respiratory issues, skin irritation, and eye irritation. While other airborne contaminants are difficult to detect by physical observation, you can discover mold contaminants through visual inspection. However, it is best to conduct indoor air quality testing in most circumstances.
Allergens are substances that cause allergic reactions. Allergen symptoms can cause discomfort, and various respiratory problems. No homeowner feels great about passing through asthma problems or spending days and weeks in a house full of harmful substances in the air. If you want to identify the level of allergens in your home, testing your indoor air quality is the best way to find out. You can quickly pinpoint allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, and rodents.
Knowing a particular allergen that has infested your home can help you get prepared with substances that will eliminate them. In addition, you can hire an HVAC specialist to help you determine whether an air cleaner is right for your indoor space.
The following are essential types of air cleaners for your indoor setup to help reduce allergic substances in the air:
- Ozone generators
- Gas Phase
Homeowners should keep in mind that the EPA does not suggest the utilization of ozone energy generators. Individuals subjected to high ozone exposure can develop health issues such as lung cancer. They are getting ozone generators as allergen-reducing equipment is not necessary, as they may not significantly reduce your indoor air contaminants.
Insects will always be in your home, no matter how neatly you maintain the space. If you have insects you wish to eradicate, the first option on your mind will not be far from using pesticides or insecticides. It feels like the best solution, but it causes breathing problems you cannot see with the naked eye. In addition, when you use synthetic or biological substances to contain the activities of vermin in your home, it alters the air quality in your home.
You may have used one or more pesticides for a long time. Under the EPA, more than the average household in the US has used pesticides over the years. Therefore, professionals can trace most indoor air quality problems to the use of pesticides. However, you can use air quality testing to reveal excess pesticides in your indoor air. But if pesticides are used properly, you may not detect problems.
It takes 35 to 50 minutes to carry out a professional air quality test indoors. Therefore, ensure you schedule indoor air quality testing from time to time, whether you have a small or large home. Also, if you have just bought a new home, testing the air quality is essential to eradicating the types of chemicals or allergens in that home.