Check out ways to test your indoor air quality at home with this week’s guest blog from Aire Serv:
If you or anyone in your family has allergies, it’s more important than ever to maintain clean indoor air. Before you take action to improve air quality, you must know what problems currently exist. While you might need professional testing eventually, start with at-home air quality test kits to generate some initial findings. Here are three simple tests you can run to check the air quality in your home.
Air Quality Testing for Mold
Mold spores are everywhere, but if you smell a musty odor in your home, spores could be settling on damp organic surfaces and growing colonies that irritate your asthma and allergies. Fortunately, with the right indoor air quality testing equipment, you can discover whether your home is a breeding ground for harmful mold.
The HVAC air filter or ductwork is the perfect place to test for mold growth. Here’s how:
- Dampen a sterile sponge with a rinse solution and wipe a section of the air filter or supply duct vent.
- Place the sponge in a rinse container and pour more solution over it.
- Shake the rinse container and pour the contents into a sample cup.
- Compare the color of the solution to the chart that came with your test kit. This tells you whether mold is growing on your air filter or in the ductwork.
Air Quality Testing for Radon
As the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, radon is a colorless, odorless gas that rises from the soil beneath your home as a result of uranium breaking down. You can test the radon levels in your home with an at-home air quality test kit.
For quick results, conduct a short-term test, which only takes three to seven days to complete. Simply set out the test container, which is filled with granular activated charcoal that absorbs radon from the air. After a few days, seal the container and mail it to a lab for analysis.
A long-term test provides more accurate results, but the testing period lasts anywhere from eight days to one year. The test unit contains a piece of film that records the impacts of alpha particles and polonium, which are byproducts of decaying radon. The results from a lab analysis give you a thorough understanding of your radon exposure.
Air Quality Testing for VOCs
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals off-gassed by everyday household items. Many homes have dangerously high levels of formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, chloroform, styrene, and other toxic VOCs. Overexposure can cause everything from headaches and nasal irritation to liver damage and cancer.
Indoor air quality testing equipment is available to analyze your exposure to volatile organic compounds. One such kit involves wearing a VOC-detecting badge for 24 hours to measure your personal exposure level. Send the badge to a lab for analysis, and when the results are mailed back, you’ll find out whether the concentration of VOCs in your home exceeds the permitted exposure levels.
Benefits of Professional Air Quality Testing
While at-home air quality testing is useful for identifying whether you have a problem, it isn’t enough. You might not know what to do with the results of your tests, or you could even end up with a false reading.
To ensure the best outcome, count on Aire Serv® to professionally test the air quality in your home and verify the findings from your DIY tests. After checking for mold, radon, and VOCs, we’ll help you determine which steps you should take to clean up your indoor air so you can breathe easy. Contact Aire Serv today to get in touch with a professional air quality expert!