How to Check the Air Quality in Your Home: A Helpful Guide

By June 1, 2020Blog
checklist for checking indoor air quality

When you’re stuck at home, you’re probably noticing a lot more about how your house functions. Are you curious about your air quality?

Maybe you have asthma and this is a primary concern. Or you might just be wondering about the best ways to test, monitor, and improve the air in your home.

If so, keep reading for our full guide on how to check the air quality in your home so you can stay informed and take any necessary precautions!

Why It’s Important to Check Air Quality

Did you know millions of people die a year from indoor air pollution? This is a striking statistic. Most people think of air pollution as happening outside, not inside your home.

The actual amount of air pollution inside of homes will vary, depending on the state, city and area in which you live. Testing the air quality in your home can provide you with peace of mind, but it might also be a necessary step if you’re experiencing negative health symptoms.

If you have chronic allergies or asthma, you could be feeling the pollutants in your home. Also, frequent headaches or colds, and bronchitis could be an indicator of bad air quality.

The actual airborne irritants will vary. It could be anything from pet dander to mold. It’s important to test this since you likely don’t know that it’s there and can’t see it.

Buy an Air Quality Monitor

The first step to improving your air quality is buying an air quality monitor. This is especially important if you’re already experiencing health symptoms relating to poor air quality.

Monitoring the levels of air quality is a simple and inexpensive solution to narrow down the problem. If you discover poor air quality, you can take steps to get more fresh air or clean air in your home.

When shopping for a monitor, search for one that will measure several factors to help find contaminants or pollutants. The first measurement you will want is for humidity, since this can indicate possible mold growth or potential for growth.

Also, make sure the sensor can test temperature, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), which are chemical pollutants. These pollutants are identified by the EPA as possible sources of bad air quality. They’re likely coming from the materials in your home like carpeting.

Your air quality monitor should also test for levels of particulate matter. This means the levels of dust and allergens in your home.

Finally, test for AQI or Air Quality Index. This is another measurement the EPA uses. It’s important for deciding the health risk of indoor and outdoor pollution.

Start to Track Health Symptoms

After you test the baseline air quality in your home, you should pay close attention to your health symptoms. Monitor how you’re feeling and what your symptoms are throughout the day.

For example, if you only have headaches when you go out for walks or right after you come home from a walk, your home air quality might not be the problem. Consider the air quality outside of where you live as a factor as well.

Your symptoms can also narrow down the possible pollution in your home. If you’re having intense levels of nausea or confusion, track these closely. Those are linked with carbon monoxide levels. While a scratchy throat or watery eyes would likely relate to a higher level of allergens in the home.

It’s important to monitor these along with your air quality, but you should also seek medical advice. Consult with your doctor for treatment from these symptoms.

Test Radon and Carbon Monoxide Levels

Radon and carbon monoxide are dangerous substances and are well-known for affecting air quality.

Radon should be tested, especially since it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer. If you discover radon levels, you should reach out to a professional. Long-term exposure is dangerous for your health.

Carbon monoxide should also be tested, since this odorless gas is often called the “silent killer.” This gas can come from the fumes of appliances like your water heater, oven, grill, fireplace, etc.

Test for Allergens and Other Pollutants

There are a few products on the market that can be used to test for allergens and other pollutants. These devices will let you measure the levels of particles that could be harmful overtime.

There are also products that will alert you when the levels get dangerous and you usually rent them for a one-time check of your home.

Try an Air Purifier

Now that you’ve measured the different types of air quality factors in your home, you’re likely going to want to find solutions. An air purifier can probably address a few of your concerns.

This is especially helpful if you suffer from asthma and allergies. This is because an air purifier will be able to remove particulate matter from the air. You’ll then be breathing cleaner air in your home.

Some air purifiers cleanse the air by releasing negatively charged ions. This makes pollutants stick to surfaces that you can clean off. Other purifiers will use HEPA filters. These screen pollutants and collect them from the air.

When to Call a Professional

It’s important to also understand at which point you should contact a professional, rather than trying to cleanse the air yourself.

You should opt for a professional if you continue to experience health symptoms that might be related to bad air.

You can also contact a professional if you just want to be cautious, since they can run many tests and once and are experienced in looking at dangerous areas of the home. Professionals can also advise you for how you can improve your home’s air quality.

Learning How to check the Air Quality in Your Home Can Improve Your Health

Understanding how to check the air quality in your home is important for you and your family’s health and safety. If you’re experiencing symptoms related to poor air quality, follow the steps above to test the possible pollutants in the air.

Contact us for professional assistance with your air quality and read more from our blog today!