Have you ever heard stories of people experiencing sudden dizzy spells, headaches, and confusion only to discover that their house had the presence of carbon monoxide? Reading these stories can almost sound like fiction made to drum up fear in its readers, but they’re a complete reality (which is even scarier!).
Dangerous air pollutants like carbon monoxide are the reason why many people have started calling onto trained HVAC technicians to test their indoor air quality. According to the EPA, we spend about 90% of our time indoors. On top of that, indoor air pollutants are 2 to 5 times more concentrated than outdoor pollutants. The study is several decades old, so it’s believed that the concentration has only increased since then.
But why else is indoor air quality so important? Children, the elderly, and immunocompromised people are more susceptible to the harms from pollutants. Of course, though, having cleaning air benefits everyone.
Let’s look into some common air pollutants and how to combat them.
What are some of the worst indoor air pollutants?
Carbon monoxide is widely considered to be the worst indoor air pollutant due to its colorless, odorless, and tasteless qualities. Its typical cause is from faulty gas and heating appliances and vehicles in attached garages.
Filters and air cleaners cannot cure carbon monoxide levels in your home. The best solution to above-average carbon monoxide levels in your home is contacting HVAC technicians like us.
Carbon dioxide is another indoor air pollutant that can cause health concerns at high levels. It’s caused by people exhaling as they breathe, smoking, carpeting, and the burning of fossil fuels. Even the soil your home is built on can emit carbon dioxide through the cracks in your home.
There’s no standard level of carbon dioxide, however, a high level means that the air is not properly being circulated in your home. Bringing fresh air into your home is typically the solution. Products can be installed in your home to mechanically correct this problem.
Other pollutants include VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), particulates, and bioaerosols.
To quickly go over these:
- VOC’s are caused by fossils fuels, tobacco products, personal-care products like perfumes, cleaning agents, paint varnishes, and even our copying and printing machines.
- Particulates can be organic or inorganic; some examples of particulates are dust mite dander, smoke, pollen, and dust
- Bioaerosols are viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
The best solution for most of these pollutants are proper ventilation and cleaning.
Relative humidity isn’t a form of pollution, but unmaintained levels can cause molds and fungi to survive.
This list is merely scratching the surface on indoor air pollutants. You can learn about other pollutants, such as radon, formaldehyde, and asbestos on the EPA website.
So how does air testing work?
Let’s explain the process of indoor air testing with the words from Owner and CEO of our company, Dan Mock.
“We can visit you at your home or business. We will place an air testing monitor in a central location and turn it on. It will sample the air for a half hour and at that time we will receive the test results via an email to our smart phone. It’s as simple as that!
Once we receive the results, we can review them with you, we can review them with you and offer the correct remedies to correct any indoor air quality problems that may be present in your home. This all takes place with one visit to your home or business!
The air testing monitors test for carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulates, chemicals, temperature, and relative humidity.
Sometimes, we find that the air in your home is just fine, and nothing is needed to improve it. There are many times when it isn’t good at all.
Sometimes we will monitor the air for several days in a problem home and analyze the indoor air quality in hourly increments over several days for a better idea of how the levels of pollution and type of pollution vary throughout the day.
Many times, homeowners can correct a problem by changing their habits without having to spend money on solutions.”– Daniel Mock of Eagle Air Service
How often should people have their air tested?
Dan recommends getting your air tested just once for a starter since it’s so important for you and your family. If your tests come back and show that issues are present, we can provide any necessary remedies. Afterwards, your air should be tested again a few weeks later to affirm issues have been solved.
How can home owners maintain good air quality?
Once tested, we (or other HVAC companies) can offer you solutions such as high efficiency electronic air cleaners, HEPA filters, ultra violet lights, energy recovery ventilators, heat recovery ventilators, and oxidizer lamps.
Other recommendations we have were listed earlier when talking about indoor air pollutants.
Final thoughts about indoor air quality
In summary, the best way to make sure you’re maintaining good air quality is taking note of any symptoms that seem out of place.
Are you feeling ill lately? Does anyone in your family have recurring headaches, dizziness, or tiredness? Are you experiencing dry and itchy skin? Bloody noses? Itchy eyes? Coughing? Have a cold that just won’t go away? Get your air tested!