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How to Check the Air Quality in Your Home
General Heating & Air Conditioning
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How to Check the Air Quality in Your Home

If you work remotely, homeschool, or are simply staying inside until the heat wave passes, it's time to consider the quality of your indoor air.

From materials used in home construction and off-gassing from adhesives to mold and mildew, keeping your indoor air clean has multiple health benefits.

The first step to keeping the air at your home clean is to test its quality. In this post from General Heating & Air Conditioning, we will talk about how you can test air quality near your home.

4 Ways to Check Your Indoor Air Quality

Poor ventilation and other factors can lead to poor residential indoor air quality and allergies related to it inside your home.

Once you test air quality, you can come up with ways to improve it. Let's take a closer look at some ways you can test air quality.

1. Indoor Air Quality Monitor

Indoor air quality monitors can be a blessing in disguise. These monitors come equipped with electrochemical sensors, which can help measure air quality and detect toxins inside the air. Most monitor models have unique tech updates to detect particles that pass in front of the gauge.

Air quality testing monitors can help detect harmful odorless gasses such as radon and carbon monoxide. These models can also detect volatile organic compounds or VOCs. However, you will have to check the specific details of the model you buy to ensure what you are signing up for. Some advanced monitors can also give you updates on air quality within a room.

As a homeowner, we recommend you buy a model that helps measure specific pollutants, including radon and carbon monoxide.

2. Measuring Mold Through Mold Tests

Mold and mildew can damage the quality of air inside your home. Mold tests come in the form of swab tests, air pumps, petri dish tests, tape strips, and much more. Swabs and tape strip tests can help collect contaminants from the surface of a tabletop or countertop and relay results on mold presence in the air.

Table strips, petri dish tests, or air pumps are more complicated in nature and may require the samples to be sent to a lamp for accurate results to come out.

3. Radon Testing at Home

Radon gas is a unique byproduct of uranium that comes through the breakdown of rocks and soil. The gas can make its way inside your home through the construction panels. The gas can reach harmful levels over time and cause degradation of the air quality.

Radon tests measure the specific presence of radon inside your residential air through tests done over time. Short-term tests for radon gas can take 60 to 90 days, while long-term tests can take over seven months. The results from the tests can be achieved through lab research and analysis.

4. Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide is the destructor-in-chief of the air quality inside your home. Carbon monoxide can cause dizziness, confusion, and headaches in residents, leading to instant emergency care. Carbon monoxide detectors work in the same way as smoke detectors and can help alert residents when gas is detected in the air.

The detector can be installed in the same space as your smoke detector to understand the levels of carbon monoxide where you live. Most detectors have a built-in power display to help you realize when CO2 levels reach an unhealthy point. Air quality indexes over the globe are also measured through CO2 detectors.

Signs of Poor Air Quality

On average, people spend around 90% of their time indoors, and according to the EPA, pollution levels can be much higher inside than outside, especially in larger populated areas.

While it may not be completely apparent, here are a few signs that your home has higher levels of pollution:

  • Skin irritation and dryness

  • Respiratory issues

  • Overactive allergies

  • Mold and mildew growth

  • Your HVAC system or ducts are dirty

  • You have excess condensation on walls or windows

Testing your air quality is a great starting point, and investing in an air purifier or professional air scrubber can help remove most pollutants and help increase your air quality.

Common Pollutants 

The best way to improve your air quality is by understanding what pollutants to be on the lookout for, and the most common indoor contaminants include:

  • Tobacco Smoke: Smoking outside is the best preventative method.

  • Biological Particulates: Investing in purifiers that can remove dander, mold, and pollen will help.

  • Products Like Paints and Household Cleaners: Avoid products that have methyl chloride, perchloroethylene, and benzene.

  • VOCs: Most commonly found in candles, air fresheners, building materials, and upholstery and furniture. Minimize the use of products, purify your air, and let items air out before use.

  • Carpeting: Unroll it in a well-ventilated area, and once installed, use fans and ventilation equipment to move fumes outside.

Make an Appointment To Improve Your Air Quality Today!

With a few steps, you can improve your indoor air quality and keep your family and home safer. At General Heating & Air Conditioning, our expert technicians offer quality air treatment services that homeowners in the west Twin Cities metro area can rely on.

Contact us today or call 952-445-2820 to learn how we can help improve your air quality!

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