Why We Start With Indoor Air Quality Testing
Like any good problem solver, our specialists need to first understand the facts and evaluate the situation before making any recommendations on indoor air quality solutions. That’s why at the beginning of every consultation we conduct a computerized indoor air quality audit that analyzes the air inside your home and reports on six different key metrics. Using those metrics, our specialists are able to create a customized action plan that will be most effective at remedying your unique indoor air quality issues.
What Does The Test Measure?
The comprehensive report from your indoor air quality audit measures six key factors that frequently contribute to the problems caused by indoor air pollution. If any of the factors are at a level that can pose a risk to your health, comfort, or safety, the report also identifies potential causes and recommended actions.
Particles are known to trigger asthma and allergy symptoms and can be caused by a number of things, ranging from heating and cooling issues, to certain activities happening in your home.
Also referred to as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) chemical pollutants are known to trigger asthma and allergy symptoms, eye and nasal passage irritation, nausea and headaches. At very high levels, they can even affect healthy adults, by overworking the liver and kidneys, according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, Health Canada, and the Washington Department of Health.
Ironically, many of the chemicals present in our homes are emitted from products we use to take care of ourselves and our homes such as air fresheners, nail polish, cleaning products, paint, and glue. Your home’s building materials, furniture, carpeting, and HVAC system are all things that contribute to the level of VOCs you’re breathing inside your home.
3. Carbon Dioxide
High levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) can cause what the EPA calls “sick building syndrome” which can be recognized by fatigue, headaches, difficulty breathing, nausea, strained eyes, and itchy skin. At even higher levels, CO2 can cause asphyxiation, as it replaces oxygen in the blood. CO2 poisoning, however, is very rare.
Ironically, CO2 is produced from activities that are intended to make our homes more comfortable and energy efficient. Breathing, burning candles or wood, as well as construction techniques used to create weatherized and energy efficient homes, contribute to increasing CO2 inside the home.
While uneven temperatures inside your home can be uncomfortable, they can also be a sign of more serious issues caused by a poorly located thermostat, imbalanced ductwork, inadequately sized HVAC equipment, poor insulation, or inadequate weatherization.
5. Relative Humidity (RH)
Too much or not enough in-home moisture can create a litany of problems for your health, comfort, furnishings, and your wallet. According to the American Lung Association, relative humidity level in a home should hover around 45%. Anything outside of the 40%-50% range can lead to the common problems associated with air that’s too dry or humid.
Humidity fluctuations can be caused by many ordinary things. Structural issues such as, standing water in the basement, leaky faucets, inadequate ventilation, and an improperly sized cooling system, can all be warning signs that your HVAC equipment needs repair or replacement.
6. Carbon Monoxide
When people are exposed to relatively low levels of carbon monoxide, it can cause headaches and nausea. At high levels, it can cause memory problems and ultimately death. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it’s an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas. It also comes from unexpected sources, such as stoves, gas dryers, fireplaces, or vehicles running in an attached garage.
Signs of Poor Indoor Air
The signs of poor indoor air can range from the obvious to obscure, making it nearly impossible to accurately identify the real problem. Too often, homeowners waste time and money treating the symptoms of poor indoor air, without identifying the source of the problem. If you notice any of the signs below, obtain an IAQ audit to identify the real issues, their origins and how to resolve them.
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry itchy skin, eyes
- Uneven temperatures
- Cracked or warping wood
- Peeling paint
Call (262) 735-5548 or submit the form to the right to schedule your indoor air quality audit today.