How Do I Test the Air Quality of My House?

October 18, 2021

As the cooler weather approaches, you are likely to start making greater use of your HVAC system to heat your home. This means now is a good time for you to consider what you’re doing to improve and maintain the air quality of your home.

Dust, debris, gases and odors inside the home can all worsen the air quality and potentially cause health problems. Symptoms of poor air quality in the home include worsening asthma and allergies, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, sneezing, coughing, irritation in the eyes and nose and—in extreme circumstances—memory loss and dizziness.

What are the ways to test your home’s air quality? Here are a few strategies you might look into.

Air quality monitors

Air quality monitors are devices designed to monitor your indoor air quality. The device regularly tests pollution levels in the home and provides you with reports. Specific testing varies from device to device, but most will test for chemical pollutants, particulate matter, humidity, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and formaldehyde.

Mold testing

Mold exists in every home, but at elevated levels, it can be hazardous to the health and could weaken the structural integrity of your home, depending on where it’s located.

Airborne mold spores can significantly affect your indoor air quality. While there are always mold spores in the air, tests will help you determine the concentration of those spores. Higher levels of mold spores indicate larger-than-average mold amounts, which should lead you to take proper mold mitigation tactics.

Carbon monoxide alarms

Every home should have a couple carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, as it is otherwise difficult to impossible to detect its presence. Carbon monoxide is tasteless, colorless and odorless, and long-term exposure to it can result in serious illness or death.

CO is a byproduct of combustion, which means it’s most likely to build up around gas appliances like stoves, water heaters, furnaces and dryers. Place carbon monoxide monitors in areas of the home near these appliances. If the alarm sounds, you’ll know to increase ventilation, get out of the home and call a professional to investigate the source of the problem.

Radon testing

Radon is also colorless, tasteless and odorless—much like CO—and cannot be detected without a detection device designed specifically for that purpose. Radon will not cause death by asphyxiation, but it can cause lung cancer.

Radon is a naturally-occurring element in the Earth’s crust that can enter through cracks in the foundation, floors, walls or areas around pipes. Some areas of the country have higher concentrations of radon than others just based on their geology, so if you know you live in a particularly at-risk area, having radon testing done in your home may be beneficial.

When radon exists in high concentrations, special ventilation must be added to vent the radon up and out of the house through the roof.

If you’ve been wondering, “How do I test the air quality of my home?” wonder no further. Contact JMB A/C & Heating LLC for more information about improving your home’s air quality.

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