How Do You Test Your Indoor Air Quality?
How often do you think about the air quality in your home? Particles such as mold spores, dust, dander, pollen, and our almost yearly wildfire smoke are all pollutants that impact your indoor air quality.
Having good indoor air quality is important. It improves your health, eliminates odors, and helps decrease your energy bills.
How to Test the Air Quality in Your Home
If you want some peace of mind, here’s how you can test your indoor air quality.
Buy an Indoor Air Quality Monitor
An indoor air quality monitor is a device that monitors the quality of your air. Most indoor air quality monitors will track carbon dioxide and oxygen levels, while others will track additional pollutants such as airborne particulate matter and volatile organic compounds. Some also pair with thermostats or smartphones.
You’ll want to purchase an indoor air quality monitor that detects what puts you and your family at risk the most. For example, if you use a fireplace you may want an indoor air quality monitor that detects carbon monoxide.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. According to the CDC 400 people die of carbon monoxide poisoning each year, and more than 20,000 others are hospitalized. You can find standalone carbon monoxide detectors as well as combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. They’re affordable, starting at around $20. If you use your fireplace, gas stove, furnace, or anything else with a flame, we recommend installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
Conduct a Radon Test
Radon is radioactive and undetectable like carbon monoxide. It’s also dangerous in the long-term. The American Cancer Society says radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, resulting in around 20,000 deaths a year. Radon gas forms from the natural uranium deposits in soil and since it cannot escape, it will seep into homes through cracks and crevices.
Radon kits are very inexpensive and very easy to use. You can buy one for about $10 in any home improvement store, online, and from your local health department. You simply open the test kit and let it sit for about three days typically in your basement. After the test period is complete, you’ll mail the test to the manufacturer’s lab to be analyzed.
Test Your Home for Mold
Mold is common. It’s produced by excess moisture. But, this pollutant isn’t detected by an indoor air quality monitor. Although mold test kits are readily available at most hardware stores, this is one test you should leave for a professional. Mold spores are in the air just about everywhere you go. What you want to know is if the mold spores are excessive. A professional mold test inspector will compare the concentration of mold spores in your home with the concentration of mold spores outside your home.
Indoor Air Quality Specialists
Good indoor air quality can improve your health and increase your energy efficiency, thus lower your utility bills. If you want your indoor air quality tested professionally, Apex Air can help. We’re a locally-owned-and-operated company whose founders have over 55 years of combined experience serving the Portland OR and Vancouver WA metro area