Air Quality Testing
Inside Air Quality Test
The air inside a home or building isn’t something that most people think about, but poor quality air can impact your overall health. Homes and buildings are built more insulated and sealed off to protect you from the elements and improve energy efficiency. And while this is good for electricity bills, it also means that the air trapped inside can become stagnant and eventually harmful. Vancouver and Portland home and business owners should be aware of what is floating around in their air and the side effects associated with poor air quality.
You can find many common air pollutants inside homes and businesses, and when these reach certain levels, they can start to cause problems for the people breathing them in.
- Carbon Monoxide
- Pet Dander
- Insect Debris
Increased levels for any of these particulates can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Poor air quality is the main cause of increased asthma cases. If you notice increased coughing or sneezing indoors, it could be a good indication of poor air quality. Excess particles in the air are typically the result of people coming in and out, bringing dust, pollen, mold spores, and other particulates with them that then break off and settle in the air. Poor air can also be the result of a recent remodeling project. When the walls, floor, counters, and other aspects of the home are broken down and rebuilt, tons of dust and other potentially harmful particles, including asbestos float around in the air for days and sometimes weeks. Having your air tested allows you to live and work in a healthier environment.
Air Quality Test At Home
At Advantage Environmental Inc, we perform air quality tests quickly and accurately to inform you of any harmful substances. During a standard air quality test, we look for several things. Particulate matter is one of the main substances we test for in the air. There are different sizes of particulate matter ranging from less than one micron to larger than 10 microns. The smaller the particulate, the deeper into your lungs it will go when you breathe in. Particles larger than 10 microns usually settle on surfaces, this is where dust accumulates.
Formaldehyde is another substance commonly found in the air, and something to test for as breathing in high amounts can be dangerous and even cancer-causing. You might wonder how formaldehyde gets into your home or business, but this substance is common in building materials, carpet cosmetics, clothing, and cleaning products. TVOC or Total Volatile Organic Compounds are different gases or vapors in the air. These compounds typically come from pesticides, cleaning products, cosmetics, and paint. Any time you can smell something in the air, there are VOC’s present. But not all are harmful, like the scent of roses or perfumes. But high levels of certain vapors and gases can irritate and with prolonged exposure, organ failure, and reproductive complications.
When our technicians complete the air test, we will report back to you on your AQI (Air Quality Index or Indicator) this will inform you of how clean or polluted your air is. Ranging from good to hazardous, we will inform you if actions need to be made to purify the air.
Air Quality Test For Mold
When someone develops recent sinus problems like excessive coughing and sneezing, but you aren’t sick, it could be an indication of allergens or mold in the air. Having the air tested for mold is a good way to determine if there is a larger underlying problem or if it is simply an increase of allergens in the air. At Advantage Environmental Inc, our technicians come to your home or business to test the air for mold spores. During this test, we will also conduct an inspection to look for any obvious signs of mold growth.
During the initial inspection, our technicians will use heat and humidity detectors to look for areas around the property that are cool and have a higher humidity level. Generally, these areas are prone to mold growth. Our technicians use a special machine that can be placed in various areas around the property to perform an air quality test for mold. This machine sucks in the surrounding air through a tube and into a filter, these filters are inside small containers to prevent contamination. The device runs for about 5 minutes to ensure we collect a reasonable sample. After the required areas of the property have been sampled, our technicians will obtain one more sample. A control sample is collected from outside the property to compare to the others.
These samples will be analyzed, and a report will determine if mold spores are present in the air. If there are mold spores, you should call a mold removal specialist right aways as mold is prone to spreading quickly. If there are no mold spores present in any of the samples, other particulate matter or VOCs could be the cause of the symptoms. Luckily there are many ways to clean and monitor your air to prevent future problems.
Air Quality Monitoring
There are many simple and low maintenance ways for people to monitor the air quality in their homes and businesses. At home, air monitors are a great option. There are a wide variety of types and styles, ranging from one hundred dollars to several hundred dollars. An expensive high-tech device is not necessary in most cases. Even the basic monitors will provide you with accurate information.
Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every floor. Because this gas is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, there is no way to detect it without one of these devices. Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed near bedrooms so the alarm can wake residents if high levels are reached. You can buy home radon kits at many hardware stores. If you are concerned or have had previous issues with radon, it is a good idea to use these at-home test kits every two years or so.
One of the best ways to keep the air in your home clean of VOCs, particulate matter, and other harmful substances is by having adequate ventilation and filtration systems. Air purifiers will help to remove these materials and only require filter changes every few months. Air purifiers can range from reasonably inexpensive to several hundred dollars. As technology has improved, many of these purifiers can eliminate particulate matter as small as 0.3 microns. And capture harmful gases and vapors.
Most modern homes are built with proper ventilation systems to circulate indoor and outdoor air. The filters for these ventilation systems should be changed every three months to ensure optimal air quality. For older homes, these systems could be pulling air from basements, garages, attics, or crawl spaces that aren’t known for their clean air. Updating your ventilation will promote better air quality. If you have other questions on ways to monitor your air quality, talk to one of our specialists at Advantage Environmental Inc.
Environmental Testing Services
At Advantage Environmental Inc, our goal is to help keep Vancouver residents safe. By providing air quality, mold, lead, radon, asbestos, and other tests, we keep home and business owners safe from potential dangers. We have a whole team of specialists and technicians that are skilled and experienced performing these kinds of tests and relaying accurate information. When you need quick and reliable results for your air quality or another environmental test, give us a call!