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Air Quality (and Testing) in Residential Homes

air quality testing

The quality of outdoor air is frequently measured and reported, but what about the air quality of homes, schools, and offices? You probably spend most of your time indoors, so maintaining the air quality in these spaces is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This requires regular and accurate testing of indoor air quality.

If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home or business, call Aegis Environmental today so that we can set up a time to come out and test your air quality. And then, depending on the results, help you improve the air you breathe.

Why Is Air Quality Important?

Air quality impacts our lives in more ways than one. The air you breathe helps your body and mind function. Good air quality can not only limit the spread of diseases, but it can also strengthen your immunity to them.

A healthy respiratory system is one of the hallmarks of fitness. In many ways, breathing clean air is what you need for great mental health.

On the other hand, poor air quality shows that various toxic pollutants are present in the air you breathe indoors. Breathing in this harmful mix at home can adversely affect your physiological and psychological being.

Indoor air quality is slightly more toxic than outdoor air quality. Without adequate air ventilation, pollutants can easily reach high concentrations inside our living areas and cause long-term health problems in your entire household.

How can you fix this? The first step is to get your indoor air quality tested. Home testing kits for various contaminants are available. However, make sure they are accurate and comply with government standards.

Types of Air Contaminants

Indoor air quality testing is not something that happens overnight. After all, most homes have several kinds of pollutants. Detecting every one of these harmful substances is an expensive and extensive ordeal.

Before you start buying air quality testing kits, start by understanding the types of contaminants you may have to deal with.

Most indoor pollutants fall under three distinctive categories:

Biological or Organic Contaminants – This list includes mold, pollen, bacteria, fungus, dust mites, and dander. These contaminants are known to trigger seasonal allergies, asthma, and allergic rhinitis. If you suffer from any of these conditions, the air inside your house may cause you to wheeze, have dry coughs, and go through bouts of dizziness.

Synthetic Contaminants – Chemical substances like formaldehyde, lead, and radon can pose a serious health risk. These chemical pollutants can be easily found in your home in furniture, paint, and other building materials. Long-term exposure to lead and radon can damage your kidneys, nervous system, respiratory system, and liver. Immediate reactions to chemical air pollutants include itchy eyes, headaches, tiredness, distorted coordination, sickness, and symptoms that are similar to allergies.

Gaseous Contaminants – The air in your living and kitchen spaces are often contaminated with harmful gases like scentless carbon monoxide and acrid cigarette smoke. Breathing such combustion pollutants, day in and day out can cause long-term health problems. They can also be quite deadly, as carbon monoxide can deprive your system of much-needed oxygen when inhaled.

Mold, Lead, and Radon in the Home

Mold

Mold is a fungus. Due to external factors like dampness, humidity, sudden weather change, and so on, mold can start growing indoors and outdoors. Usually, mold spores travel by air and come into your homes via air vents, open windows, and even through slim cracks in doorways.

Once mold spores have entered your living space, they tend to cling to upholstery, curtains, clothes, shoes, carpets, mattresses, rugs, and so on.
If you are unusually sensitive to mold, you could experience symptoms like a stuffy nose, constant sneezing, watery eyes, throat itchiness, and excessive coughing. Even if you are not particularly allergic to mold, you could gradually develop respiratory diseases and wheezing if you don’t tackle the mold problem in your home immediately.

Testing for Mold in Your Home

Experts suggest that there is no point in simply testing your home for biological contaminants. Ideally, you only want to test your air quality if you have reason to believe that certain substances in your home could be causing breathing problems or may cause some in the future. If you have seen mold growing in your home, seek professional help immediately.

You don’t need heavy-duty technology to check for mold in your home. Give your spaces a thorough inspection. Dust out all the fabric you have at home, from curtains to doormats, and rid them of dust and mold as and when you see some. If you notice that there is way too much mold accumulated indoors, reach out to companies specializing in air quality testing and air purifying.

Lead

Lead can be detected in every natural element of our surroundings, like the soil, air, water, or homes. It is sometimes used in making paint, ceramic parts, plumbing pipes, gasoline, cosmetic products, and batteries.

Exposure to lead in your home can cause fatigue, memory loss, loss of appetite, restlessness in hands and feet, bodily weakness, irritability, and headaches.

Testing for Lead in Your Home

Inspect the paint used in your home. Check to see if the paint is from 1978 or from before that year. Talk to your landowner or the previous occupants of how your house to find out what type of paint was used and when it was last used.

Check to see if the paint is eroding and falling apart. If the paint used in your home contains lead, it will peel away easily, fall off the wall, chip off, and become flaky. Look for cracks and patches of paint that are deteriorating.

Seek help from a professional paint testing company or use an EPA-recommended lead test kit to determine the presence of lead in your home.

Radon

Radon comes from the word radium. Back in the year 1900, radon was recognized as the main culprit for lung cancer in The United States of America. This radioactive substance can be harmful to children and adults. At least one out of ten homes in the U.S. have radon particles floating around in the air.

Testing for Radon in Your Home

There are several cost-effective and efficient air-quality test kits to test radon. You can find these kits online or in stores. A short-term test kit that can remain fixed in your home for up to 90 days. Or, you can use a long-term test that is valid for more than 90 days.

Tips to Improve Air Quality

You can always improve the air quality of your indoor spaces by focusing on a few techniques, such as:

  • Increase Ventilation
    Make sure your home is well-ventilated, with enough open windows across rooms. Use proper vents in kitchens, bathrooms, and the garage.
  • Get Air Purifiers
    Get yourself a good air purifier that features a HEPA filter and an HVAC system that will filter out indoor air pollutants and keep you safe from allergies and disease.
  • Maintain a Humidity-Free Environment
    If you keep a check on humidity levels, you can control the infestation of mold in your home. Use a ventilation fan to ensure fresh air is being circulated within the rooms. Vacuum your furniture and other aspects of your home regularly to keep mold spores and dust mites away.
  • Get a Radon Detector
    Only when you know of its presence can you treat the problem. Use radon detectors in your residential complex to monitor radon levels at all times.
  • Maintain Your Air Conditioner
    If you use an AC or a ventilator, make sure to change the filters regularly.

Final Thoughts

The first step to solving any problem is to be aware of the problem. You can trust technology to give you the right tools and techniques to test your residential spaces’ air quality effectively. Keep a keen eye out for mold, lead, radon, and pollen, and use the tips mentioned above to prevent such pollutants from entering your home.

If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home or business, call Aegis Environmental today so that we can set up a time to come out and test your air quality. And then, depending on the results, help you improve the air you breathe.

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