Should I Have My Indoor Air Quality Tested?
When thinking about the comfort of your home, you probably don’t think about the airborne contaminants affecting your indoor air quality, but you should. Harmful contaminants can dampen your mood and affect the health of you and your family, even if you don’t realize it. Without proper knowledge of how to eliminate these contaminants, your family could suffer from asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues. To determine whether the air in your home is safe and healthy, have your indoor air quality tested.
What Harmful Contaminants Are In My Home?
There could be a number of harmful contaminants floating through your home, hindering the health and safety of your family. Check out these 5 major contaminants below:
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
All homes can have small or ‘background levels’ of VOCs, but once they exceed a certain threshold, health problems begin presenting themselves. Although VOC testing cannot fully uncover all dangerous VOC levels in your home, it can still reveal dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde, which is often found in older homes’ wood, some appliances, and older manufactured fabrics. It’s important to note that not all VOCs are harmful to your health, and you may not notice the effects of those that are. It’s better to be safe than sorry and get your indoor air quality tested.
Pest droppings have a significant impact on the air quality score of your home, and even if you don’t see them, they can still be there. Pest droppings can come from dust mites, cockroaches, flies, gnats, and rodents. In fact, pest dropping are just some of what makes up dust particles in your home. To ensure your air quality is safe and healthy, have it tested by professionals. Remember to clean all flat surfaces of your home regularly.
If you recently struggled with pests in your home, you likely used pesticides to get rid of them. What you may not realize is that pesticides can pollute your indoor air quality as well. If you must use pesticides to rid your home of infestations, be sure to use all-natural options and ensure proper ventilation of your home afterwards as the effects of pesticides can linger for a long time. Having an air quality test conducted can determine the severity of the pesticide levels in your home.
Even with carbon monoxide detectors telling you when levels are dangerously high, you could still be living with carbon monoxide at lower levels that’s affecting your health. If you have a furnace, gas stove, or fireplace in your home, there is a possibility of carbon monoxide accumulation. Even though this is rare, carbon monoxide can be very toxic as it replaces the oxygen in your blood, and it is dangerously flammable. When you get your indoor air quality tested, you’ll be able to determine if there are high levels of carbon monoxide before it’s too late.
Most homeowners battle with bacteria, mold, and viruses at some point. When you see mold or become aware of high bacteria levels in your home, the microorganisms developed from those contaminants are already polluting the air. If you have seen mold in your home, have stagnant water in the condensate pan of your HVAC system, or notice water leaks around your home, it is important to remove the moisture as soon as possible. Adding a dehumidifier to your home can help remove the moisture from the air and reduce the likelihood of mold in your home as well.
Bacteria and viruses are also more easily spread in poorly ventilated areas with higher humidity levels. Increasing ventilation, decreasing humidity, and introducing air purification can reduce the spread of contagious diseases and other bacteria and viruses.
Are Home Air Quality Tests Accurate?
Now that we have discussed how air quality tests can benefit your home, it is important to understand that every environment is different and every person reacts differently to contaminants. Therefore, the results of air quality tests are always subjective to your specific circumstance. If you have children or pets, be aware they may react to lower levels of contaminants than an adult would, as do people with asthma or other respiratory diseases. Even though the results may be subjective, it is still important to understand what contaminants may be present in your home, and a home air quality test is the best way to do this.
What Symptoms Result From Poor Air Quality
If your home has poor air quality, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin
- Shortness of breath
- Hypersensitivity and allergies
- Sinus congestion
- Coughing and sneezing
If you’re looking to have your indoor air quality tested, contact Spencer Heating & Air. We want the best for your home and your family so we constantly share tips for giving you the best, most energy-efficient HVAC products and services on the market.