Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an issue for all our customers in LaGrange, Columbus, and surrounding communities. At Air Force Heating & Air, we have your IAQ needs covered, from testing to providing the latest air purification, filtration, and ionization systems. We also want to make sure you know everything you need to about indoor air quality testing in LaGrange, GA.
How Do I Know I Have an IAQ Issue?
You might not know you have a problem with indoor air quality unless you know what to look for. These are some common signs you should have your indoor air tested:
- Health issues such as respiratory problems, increased allergies, skin rashes, nausea, fatigue, and other symptoms that subside when you leave your home.
- Condensation on windows and musty odors; both signal that there’s a ventilation problem.
- Unusual odors fill the air, which become more noticeable when you return after you’ve been outside for a while.
- You live in an older home that may have lead paint, asbestos, and a wide range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and pollutants.
Common Types of Indoor Pollutants
When testing for pollutants or scheduling a professional evaluation, it helps to understand the signs and symptoms a particular pollutant may be present. It’s usually not necessary to test for every indoor pollutant or particulate. Some of the most common ones are:
- VOCs: Include emissions from cleaning supplies, paint, varnishes, pesticides, building materials, furnishings, dry-cleaned clothing, and air fresheners that can evaporate and cause everything from eye/nose/throat irritation to organ damage to cancer.
- Combustion Pollutants: Gases and particles that emanate from poorly vented or unvented gas or wood stoves, space heaters, water heaters, fireplaces, and dryers. Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are common combustion pollutants.
- Mold: Mold spores float in the air and will settle on any damp surface. The spores can then grow into large colonies that can emit odors and toxins. Inhaling or touching molds can trigger hay fever-like symptoms or asthma attacks.
- Secondhand Smoke: When tobacco products burn, smoke and numerous chemicals are released into the air. Inhaling them can cause respiratory illnesses and cancer. Secondhand smoke is linked to a higher risk of childhood ear infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Radon: A naturally occurring radioactive gas, radon can spread from soil and into your home through cracks and openings in surfaces touching the ground. Radon is strongly correlated with lung cancer, even in nonsmokers.
When to Test Air Quality
It’s a good idea to consider testing when:
- You or a family member experience symptoms that can be attributed to indoor pollutants.
- Construction of your home has been completed.
- You’ve purchased a new home and are planning on moving in.
- A room has recently been remodeled or renovated.
- It’s been about five years since IAQ has been tested.
Can I Test IAQ Myself?
There are numerous products that let you test indoor air quality. These include:
- Indoor Air Quality Monitors: Can detect toxins using electrochemical sensors or particulates using a laser, depending on the model. Some types test for carbon monoxide, VOCs, and other pollutants, while others measure temperature and humidity. If there’s a particular pollutant you think is in your home, search for a monitor designed to detect and measure it.
- Mold Tests: Test kits are available as tape strips, swabs, or air pumps. Some require growing samples in Petri dishes. A swab test may give you results in minutes. However, they don’t usually specify what mold it is; the other options do but must be sent to a lab for analysis.
- Home Radon Tests: These measure radon levels over time. Whether you use a short-term test that can take 90 days or less, or a long-term test, it usually requires a lab to interpret the findings. More sophisticated tests can monitor radon levels continuously and provide an alert if necessary.
Lastly, every home should have a carbon monoxide detector. The gas is colorless and odorless but can cause severe symptoms and even death. Carbon monoxide detectors should be paired with smoke detectors near sleeping areas and on each level of your home.
Why Hire a Professional for Indoor Air Quality Testing
Professional IAQ testing can yield more reliable and accurate results than home test kits. While it may cost more, it can involve testing for a specific pollutant or a broad range of substances. The results will tell you what pollutant is present, in what quantities, and perhaps where it is coming from. Once the results are in, the provider may suggest and even install solutions to remedy the problem.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Eliminating the source of pollution is the best way to improve indoor air quality. You can also control pollution by reducing emissions and improving ventilation (whether using the vent control on an air conditioner or opening windows and doors when possible). Kitchen and bathroom fans help improve ventilation as well. Also, remember to change AC filters regularly, and aim to keep indoor humidity between 30% and 50%.
Schedule Indoor Air Quality Testing in LaGrange
Air Force Heating & Air provides high-quality, professional indoor air quality testing, evaluations, and monitoring. We also offer a wide range of air quality solutions, such as air purifiers, air cleaners, UV lamps, humidifiers, and more. For more information about our indoor air quality testing and other air quality services, call 706-810-2211 today.