how to test the air quality in your home

How to Test the Air Quality in Your Home

When you hear the word pollution, your first thought might be of large, populated cities, emissions from vehicles and factories filling the air, or piles of litter on the side of a busy interstate. Pollution is all around us and in our homes as well. 

The quality of the air you breathe makes a difference in your overall health and wellbeing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2016 indoor air pollution caused 3.8 million deaths worldwide.     

This is why testing the quality of the air in your household is so important. If you want to learn how to test the air quality in your home, here is some information to get you started. 

How to Test the Air Quality in Your Home 

To test the air quality in your home, it's important to learn the different types of air pollutants. The tester you use depends on the type of pollutants you want to test for in your home.  

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) places pollutants into three categories:

  • Biological - bacteria, dust mites, dander, and mold.
  • Chemical - compounds found in household products and building materials such as lead and radon.
  • Combustion - carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and formaldehyde. 

You can also make attempts at limiting the amount of air pollution in your home through regular HVAC maintenance, deep cleaning, smoking outside, and proper ventilation and airflow.

Here are some of the most common pollutants found in homes and how to test:

Mold

Mold thrives in damp environments. This fungus releases spores that travel through the air and land on surfaces. In large amounts, mold inhalation and contact can be a health hazard causing respiratory problems, eye, and skin irritation.  

There are many different mold testing kits available for purchase to check your home for the presence of mold spores. Samples are collected and if it has detected spores, you can send it to a lab to determine which type of mold. 

Pollen

If you have seasonal allergies, you are well aware of the effects of pollen. 

There ate at-home allergen tests that you can perform to see if large concentrations are polluting the air in your home. 

Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that can find its way into your home from the soil. The Surgeon General warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and is estimated to cause thousands of deaths per year. 

This gas cannot be seen or smelled so the only way to know if it's present in your house is to use a test. There are tests you can purchase or you can hire a professional as well. 

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and every home should have a detector to warn if there is carbon monoxide present. 

According to the EPA, all fuel-burning appliances should receive regular maintenance to ensure they are working properly to reduce the risk. 

Improve the Quality of Your Air!  

It's important to know how to test the air quality in your home not only for your seasonal allergies but for your overall health as well. 

To help improve the air quality in your home through regular HVAC maintenance and repair, don't hesitate to contact us at Comfort Now Air Conditioning & Heating!