Many of us spend most of our time indoors, especially during cold winter days, and the quality of your indoor air has a direct impact on your family’s health and productivity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), poor indoor air quality is one of the most significant environmental risks to our health. In fact, poor indoor air quality creates over 6.5 million premature deaths each year across the globe.
To avoid health concerns and lack of productivity, it is key to continually monitor the quality of your indoor air and ensure it remains free of contaminants. The best way to measure your air quality is to hire a professional HVAC company that has the industry tools and expertise to conduct proper testing.
How to Measure Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides guidelines for monitoring IAQ. These guidelines set the minimally acceptable levels of daily and annual concentrations of airborne particles, including ozone, mold, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and other microscopic particles that circulate through your home.
Even emissions from cooking in gas and electric stoves create pollution inside your home. Other factors that affect your IAQ include humidity, climate, ventilation, and others.
If you want an estimate of the pollutants in your home, you can purchase an air quality tester at your local home goods store. These handheld devices can detect radon, carbon monoxide, mold, and other pollutants. However, the most thorough way to measure IAQ is to hire an air purification professional who is trained in this specific field. An experienced technician can measure and monitor several factors, such as your home’s structure, the building materials used, the condition of your HVAC system, the size of your home, and the number of residents on your property.
In addition, several conditions of your home are also evaluated, such as the presence of mold, your family’s current health concerns, and the level of environmental pollution where you live.
Professional diagnostic tests include the following:
- VOC Meter to measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- NOx Meter to measure levels of nitrogen oxide
- SO2 Meter to measure levels of sulfur dioxide
- CO2 Meter to measure levels of carbon dioxide
- IAQ Testing Kits to analyze the presence of dander, bacteria, mold, dust, and carcinogenic particles
- The DustTrak test to measure RSPM, mass concentrations of PM10, PM1, and PM2.5
- Testo 480 IAQ Pro to measure your home’s temperature, humidity levels, airflow, and CO2 levels
- Swab tests to measure mold and bacterial growth
- Various other professional testing tools
Once the IAQ tests are completed, the results are compared to appropriate industry standards. Each county has specific standards, which means your results will be based on your western New York region, ecology, climate, geology, and other factors.
What Are Some of the Signs of Poor IAQ?
One of the most common ways to know that your IAQ may be compromised is through health symptoms. If your family has been exposed to poor indoor air quality, they may start to experience respiratory symptoms, allergies, an overall feeling of illness, frequent colds, and many other health conditions.
When the quality of the air you breathe is consistently poor, it can lead to serious health conditions, such as asthma, insomnia, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, headaches, and many other problems. The longer you are exposed, the higher the chances of contracting an illness from polluted air.
Other signs include excessive accumulation of dust or particles, foul odors, mold stains, and unusual occurrences around your home. Although sometimes it may be difficult to see the signs, if you have even a minor suspicion, it is important for you to schedule a professional inspection.
For more than 15 years, Heatwave Heating & Cooling has provided trusted home HVAC support in Amherst, NY and the surrounding areas. Our customers give our company high ratings and referrals because they consistently experience our professional service and high standards.
Call Heatwave Heating & Cooling for all your HVAC needs, including heating and air conditioning installation, repair, and maintenance. We also provide air purification products and ductwork installation, cleaning and repair. Before the next power outage, you might want to consider purchasing a backup generator, and if your utility bills are getting out of control, a tankless hot water heater can save you money.
For more information about our services, contact Heatwave Heating & Cooling today!