Are you worried about outdoor air pollution? Have you been spending a lot of time indoors because you think the air is cleaner?
Unfortunately, simply staying indoors doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’re exposing yourself to cleaner air.
The air in your home can actually be anywhere from two to five times more polluted than the air outside.
If you want to make sure you’re not accidentally breathing in indoor air that’s more toxic than the outdoor air, you might want to consider getting the air quality in your home tested.
Read on to learn about six of the most important reasons you should get an indoor air quality test.
Space heaters, furnaces, heating stoves, and fireplaces all produce pollutants that are released by combustion. The most common combustion pollutants are nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter.
If you have carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and nitrogen dioxide in the air in your home, you and your family could experience a wide range of health problems, including:
Clearly, combustion pollutants are a serious issue. You should have your air tested regularly to make sure you’re not accidentally exposing yourself or your family members to these dangerous compounds.
Radon is a colorless and odorless gas, similar to carbon monoxide. It is the number two cause of lung cancer in the United States, and it kills approximately 21,000 Americans each year.
Radon gas is produced naturally in low levels in the soil. But, it can flow into homes and buildings if there are gaps in the foundation.
Air quality testing is the only way you can find out for sure if you have unhealthy levels of radon in your home.
If you’ve been exposed to radon gas, you may experience respiratory issues like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and sneezing. You may also experience a loss of appetite, chronic fatigue, and unexplained weight loss.
Volatile organic compounds (also known as VOCs) are found in a wide range of consumer products, including:
VOCs have low boiling points and can “off-gas” large amounts of toxic vapor at low temperatures (even room temperature).
Exposure to VOC vapors can cause both short-term and long-term health problems, such as:
Some VOCs are more problematic than others. Some of the most dangerous compounds include formaldehyde and benzene. Both of these are considered to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing).
If you have pets, you likely have a lot of pet hair and dander floating around your home. Even if you sweep and vacuum on a regular basis, chances are you’re still missing some of the hair and dander your dog or cat is leaving behind.
Hair and dander could even be making their way into your vents and clogging up your air filters. This, in turn, can worsen the overall air quality of your home.
Exposure to pet dander can lead to respiratory issues and allergy symptoms. An indoor air quality test can help you determine whether or not hair and dander are contributing to your health problems.
Mold and mildew growth often begin in damp parts of your house like the basement or the bathroom. If you live in a humid climate, this mold can easily spread to the rest of your house.
Mold exposure has been linked to a number of health problems, including respiratory issues, skin irritation, and headaches.
Many air testing companies offer mold inspection and can offer solutions to get rid of the problem.
Finally, an indoor air quality test can help you find out whether or not you have asbestos in your home.
Asbestos is found primarily in the heat-resistant mineral fiber that was long used as building and insulation material. Breathing in the fibers from this material has been linked to illnesses like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
If you think there’s a possibility you may have asbestos in the walls of your home, it’s important to have it tested by a professional.
Don’t try to test on your own. You could end up disturbing the fibers and releasing more toxins into the air.
As you can see, getting your indoor air quality tested is very important. But, how do you go about testing it?
In most cases, the easiest way to get the air quality in your home checked is to work with an HVAC company that also offers air quality testing. When you hire a professional, they already have all the equipment they need to accurately test the air in your home.
It’s true that there are at-home test kits you can use. But, they likely will not be as accurate as the tests a professional will use.
What should you do if you get the air in your home tested and find out that it’s less-than-ideal?
One of the first places you should look when trying to clean up your air is your heating and cooling system. Have you changed the filters lately? When was the last time the vents or ducts were clean?
If your vents are full of dust or you have a dirty filter, your system is blowing all of that dust and dirt into the air every time you turn it on.
If you find that the cause of your poor indoor air quality is something more serious, like mold, asbestos, or droppings from pests like rats or mice, you’ll need to take additional steps to rectify the problem.
You may need to work with an exterminator to get rid of pests. Many HVAC companies also offer services to get rid of mold, mildew, and pet dander.
There are lots of reasons to make getting an indoor air quality test a priority.
A simple test can help you figure out what’s causing your allergies or respiratory issues, and it can also
If you live in the Richardson, Texas area and need the air quality in your home tested, contact us at Truficient Energy Solutions today.