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Indoor Air Quality Guide

indoor air quality
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Indoor air quality refers to the air in and around a building that affects the health and comfort of those that occupy it. Indoor air is known to be more densely polluted than outdoor air as the pollutants become trapped in the homes. It is important to ensure that the air within your home is of a good quality as many people spend most of their time in their homes. It is also important to be aware of common pollutants and know how to control them to avoid any health concerns.

Indoor Air Quality Testing

Testing the indoor air quality of your home is important especially if you think that there is a problem. There are many different tests that can be done to identify the problem and find a solution.

An air infiltration test will be done on your home. Air infiltration is when air from the outside enters the home. This is also called air leakage and happens when there are cracks in the home or when doors and windows are opened. Homes need to be properly sealed and insulated to reduce the amount of air leakage that occurs. This test will inspect the efficiency of the sealing and insulation of the home as well as the efficiency of the air duct system that runs throughout the home.

Mold testing can be done to identify the location of the mold as well provide solutions to the problem. These solutions include the immediate removal of the mold from your home as well as long-term solutions to prevent it from occurring again.

Smoke testing techniques can be used to identify possible gas or water leakages that may be the cause of certain odors in the home. This is a technique that is used for leakages that are hidden.

Common Indoor Air Pollutants

Radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless radioactive gas that can be found in the soil and rock formations beneath your home. It can also be found in building materials made out of rock and soil and groundwater that may enter your home.

Biological contaminants that reduce indoor air quality include molds, mildew, fungi and bacteria that be found on wet or damp surfaces. These surfaces provide the perfect conditions for these contaminants to strive. Dust and mites pollute the air too and can be found on carpets and furniture. It is important to ensure that all air conditioners and humidifiers are properly maintained as they can be breeding grounds for these biological contaminants if they are not cleaned correctly.

Smoke is a very common pollutant. Cigarette smoke is not the only smoke that poses as a risk. Any smoke and fumes omitted from heating equipment (includes water heaters and furnaces), fireplaces, ovens and stoves reduce the quality of the indoor air.

Many man-made pollutants affect the indoor air quality of your home. Asbestos was used in building materials but it has been phased out in recent years. However, homes that are older than 20 years are likely to still have some asbestos in it. Aerosol sprays, detergents, pesticides and some paints contain airborne chemicals that pollute the air too.

Air Quality Systems

Pollutants that happen to enter the home become trapped and can’t escape. This affects the air quality of your home. The solution? Installing an air quality system. These systems remove the pollutants that are trapped in your home. There are 2 options: air cleaners and air purifiers. Air cleaners remove bigger particles while air purifiers remove smaller particles.

Ultraviolet (UV) light systems are used for disinfection. They gets rid of the bacteria and viruses in the air that air cleaners and air purifiers can’t remove. The UV light prevents the reproduction of bacteria and viruses.

Whole air filtration systems can be installed to ensure that the air in your home doesn’t affect your health. They do the same job as the air cleaners and air purifiers. The advantage is that they last longer if maintained properly. The disadvantage is that they aren’t portable cleaners and purifiers.

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