The indoor air quality of a home is a critical factor in maintaining the quality of health of the household. Poor air quality can negatively affect the residents, leading to respiratory problems and more serious health concerns.
As such, the team at Vero Mechanical would like you to know how indoor air quality is tested.
The usual first step, when you need to test indoor air quality, is to search the area for potential pollution sources. You will need to detect any issues or materials that can lead to the production of bacteria, allergens and other pollutants.
That means inspecting the area for moisture damage, mould, pests, hazardous chemicals, dirt, dust, and other possible pollutants. Take care to examine areas like crawlspaces, attics, and HVAC systems.
A more accurate method of testing, aerial specimens from the environment can be collected and tested for specific pollutants. Samples can be collected through techniques like natural air exchange, passive samplers and active air sampling pumps.
A laboratory analyses the collected samples and looks for particulate matter, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), radon, CO (Carbon Monoxide), etc. This provides a quantitative measure of the pollutants in the air.
If real-time pollutant detection is needed, electric-powered portable sensors can provide useful data. Typically, these devices are easily transported and intuitively simple. As such they are very useful for getting an immediate read on the air quality in the area.
However, these devices do not have the same accuracy as a sample test conducted in a laboratory. They may also require calibration to function properly in various settings. Hence, they should be used for definitive purposes.
Another way to track indoor air quality is to look for symptoms of air pollution. Typical indicators like respiratory problems, migraines and irritated eyes can provide useful data with regard to exposure to pollutants in the air.
Surveys and questionnaires are used to gather information that pertains to the health of the individuals who occupy the space. The data will indicate how many people are affected by the pollutants and where the effects of the pollution are felt the most. This can help in tracking the source of the pollution.
Gaseous matter always spreads throughout whatever space they occupy, but it is not always even. Some indoor spaces may have higher concentrations of gases than others and that can affect the testing of indoor air quality. Without the ability to find the concentrated spots, tests will be significantly inaccurate.
A model that simulates how air moves through an indoor space can be used to enhance the testing process. Furthermore, they can be used to evaluate how pollutants in the air spread within a building and identify other factors that influence indoor air quality. The data provided by these models can also be used to determine possible fixes to the problems.
A DIY test can be great for the homeowner who has concerns about the presence of toxins, allergens and other aerial pollutants. If recent renovations have been effected in the house or some unpleasant odours have become noticeable, an indoor air quality test could be necessary.
There are several DIY kits for air testing that allow the average person to carry out an air quality test without specialised equipment or training. These include:
- VOC passive tests
- CO test kits
- Formaldehyde test kits
- Radon test kits
- Mould test kits
- Allergen test kits
Please take note that these tests do not provide a definitive substitute for professional testing. They can provide an initial determination of the air quality but a professional test performed by an expert is required for more accurate results.
How Can You Improve Your Indoor Air Quality?
Improving your home’s air quality is critical for maintaining the health of your household. Reducing or eliminating aerial pollutants can be done in the following ways:
- Ventilation can reduce the number of aerial pollutants in your home and bring in fresh air in return. This can occur with open windows, exhaust fans and installing HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems and other mechanical ventilation systems.
- Air purifiers with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters can trap and eliminate aerial pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. This makes them effective in removing smoke, dander, pollen, dust, etc.
- Reducing the amount of moisture in the atmosphere can prevent mould growth indoors. As such, you should ventilate areas like bathrooms and kitchens effectively. Also, fixing leaks and using devices like dehumidifiers can also control aerial moisture.
- Adding plants to your home can also help to improve your indoor air quality. Plants have been known to have air filtration properties in eliminating some aerial pollutants and producing oxygen in exchange.
- Monitoring for the presence of radon and installing a mitigation system can also improve your home’s air quality.
- Above all, hiring a professional HVAC company to assess the strength of your home is the most effective way of improving air quality. HVAC professionals are highly trained individuals that possess a wealth of knowledge, and will easily spot things that the average home owners will miss. Don’t take on more than you can! Contact a professional HVAC company, such as Vero Mechanical, today!
Vero Mechanical Heating and Cooling – Dedicated and Reliable HVAC Company
Maintaining optimal indoor air quality is important to keep your household healthy. With many testing options, both professional and DIY, homeowners can make informed decisions based on data. Combined with effective strategies to improve home air quality, homes become much safer for all interested parties. However, going about all these tests alone can prove tiresome – that’s why we recommend you contact Vero Mechanical for all your air quality needs.
Please contact us if you have any concerns or questions about your indoor air quality. Vero Mechanical Heating and Cooling provides and installs systems to purify the air of an indoor space. Our air purification systems use the latest technology to eliminate contaminants and make the air healthier for everyone. Choose us to make your home a safe place to breathe.