You may have heard that the air inside your home is as polluted as the air outside. That’ true. In fact, it may contain more pollutants than the air outside. This poses a risk to the health of workers in office buildings as well as at home. The risk is greater for young children, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma. That said, indoor air quality testing is an effective way to determine the levels of indoor pollutants so you can correct the underlying issues.
6 Things to Know About Indoor Air Quality Testing
We spend a lot of time indoors, so the air that we breathe inside should be clean and free of pollutants. Indoor pollutants include organisms such as mold as well as chemicals and gases. Here are some things to be aware of regrading indoor air quality testing in your home or office.
1. Know What Allergens to Test For
Potential allergens in the home or at work include fungi such as mold. Mold grows in building materials, carpets, and upholstery. Mold colonies thrive in humid places like bathrooms and kitchens. As colonies grow they release thousands of spores that travel through the building where they can attach to clothing and pets and spread further. If you think mold is causing illness in your home or workplace, a mold screening kits provides proof.
The saliva and waste of cockroaches also contain a protein that triggers allergy symptoms in some people. Dust mites also deposit waste that triggers allergies for some. A Dust Mite Test Kit is the best way to find out if this is the cause of allergies in the building. Many people are also allergic to pet dander, the dead cells of fur and feathers, so testing for that may be necessary too.
Exposure to any of these indoor pollutants can trigger asthma attacks and allergy symptoms. Some of those symptoms include itchy throat, red and watery eyes, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue.
2. Understand Dangerous Contaminants
Several dangerous chemicals are commonly found in the home that impact the health of occupants. Indoor IAQ testing is the best way to find out if they present in your home. Radon, for example, is a colorless, odorless natural gas that enters from outside through cracks in the foundation. It also comes in through drains and windows. It has been linked to lung cancer so it should be tested for along with other harmful contaminants such as carbon dioxide and methane.
3. Ensure Proper Ventilation
Ventilation is key to maintaining good IAQ. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has put this fact into sharp focus. We have learned a lot over the past year and a half about the role ventilation plays in the transmission of viruses like SARS-CoV-2. This has caused a new shift in thinking about IAQ. Ventilation occurs when the outside air is brought in, mixed with indoor air, then spread throughout the building. Air conditioning is a part of this process. To get proper ventilation in the home, the HVAC system should be cleaned and maintained.
4. Maintain Temperature/Humidity Levels
Temperature and humidity are also key elements for keeping indoor air quality at a safe level. High humidity provides an ideal environment for mold to grow. High humidity also causes building materials to release chemicals at a higher level. Controlling indoor temperatures is a challenge as seasons change and temperatures fluctuate throughout the day, but The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends maintaining temperatures in a range of between 68.5 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and between 75 and 80.5 Fahrenheit degrees in the summer with indoor relative humidity maintained at or below 65 percent.
5. Purify Indoor Air
Air purifiers are devices that clean inside air. These machines work around the clock to destroy pathogens. They trap allergens and prevent them from circulation. For example, the PURE-Plasma Air 600 uses the process of ionization to neutralize airborne contaminants as well as bacteria, viruses, and mold. It also removes odors and creates a healthier, more comfortable indoor environment. One air-cleaning device covers areas up to 2000 square feet of your home.
6. Start IAQ Testing
Of course, the most important element to indoor air quality testing is to do the tests. They are an easy, affordable option for determining the allergen levels in your home. Home test kits are available to screen for radon, smoke, mold, dust mites, fungi, lead, bacteria, and more. The kits available from indoorairtest.com provide fast results so you can deal with the source of your allergy issues. Use these DIY test kits to collect samples, mail them to our lab, and get results within 3-5 days.
Start IAQ Testing Today
If you, a family member, or coworker is suffering from allergy symptoms and you don’t know the source, find out. Start your indoor air quality testing by ordering a test kit today or call us at 727-572-4550.