Is Your Indoor Air Quality Healthy? Find Out Now!
1. A Brief Overview of Indoor Air Quality Monitoring
Scientific studies conducted in just the last couple of decades have shown that the air inside our homes, offices and other buildings is often of worse quality than outdoor air. For many of us our indoor air is more polluted than the outdoor air even if we live in large industrial cities. In addition, studies have shown that people are spending much more of their time indoors. This means that your health may be more compromised by your exposure to indoor air pollution than to the outdoors. If it is possible that your indoor air quality is more dangerous to your health than outdoor air pollution then you are probably wondering, how can you improve indoor air quality?
The answer involves taking steps to understand what is good air quality, what is bad air quality, how to test air quality in your home, and how can you improve indoor air quality?
2. Parameters to Determine the Quality of Indoor Air.
There are several ways to determine whether you may have indoor air quality problems. The first is to monitor your own health. If you have symptoms that could be related to your indoor air quality, contact your doctor or local health department to discuss your symptoms and whether they could be caused by indoor air pollution.
A second way to determine if your home has or could develop indoor air problems is to identify possible sources of indoor air pollution. Sources include combustible substances like oil, gas, wood, paints, thinners, kerosene, coal, and even tobacco products. It is also important to check products you use for household cleaning, personal care, and hobbies. If you have central heating and cooling systems and/or humidifiers it is important to get them checked and cleaned regularly. Finally there can be outdoor sources of vapor intrusion such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution that enter your home and get trapped.
A third way to determine whether your home has poor indoor air quality is to examine your home for evidence of ventilation problems. Your home may not have enough ventilation if you notice moisture condensation on windows or walls, smelly or stuffy air, HVAC systems and equipment that needs cleaning and maintenance, and/or mold on books, shoes, or other things.
Determining the danger of any of these sources depends on how much of the pollutants are present as well as how hazardous their emissions are. In some cases, factors such as how old the source is and whether it is properly maintained are significant. For example, an improperly adjusted gas stove can emit significantly more carbon monoxide than one that is properly adjusted.
3. How to Test Air Quality in Your Home?
Air quality testing cannot just be a one time test. It must be done with air quality monitoring. Indoor air quality sensors are carefully engineered devices used to detect the presence of a particular pollutant. Different types of sensors measure for different pollutants. Fortunately advances in technology have lowered the cost of indoor air quality testing by producing smaller, less expensive sensors. In order to get reliable results, sensors are strategically placed throughout your home or office building. (The EPA recommends a sensor for every 10,000 square feet.) Sensors are made to test for and measure the levels of these common pollutants:
- Carbon monoxide
- Particulate matter
- Petroleum Particulates
- Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
But that’s not all, sensors can also measure methane, bioaerosols, and much more. Environmental laboratories with expertise in measuring indoor air quality will work with owners to identify specific concerns and building or home activities so they can identify and measure additional pollutants beyond the common ones listed above.
4. How Can You Improve Your Indoor Air Quality?
A three step process has worked most effectively for answering the question: how can you improve your indoor air quality?
A. Take Control of the Pollution Source(s)
The first step is to take control of the source of a pollutant. This is usually the most effective step for improving indoor air quality any time a particular source is identified. Examples include:
– Remove old carpet and install a “low-VOC” carpet to reduce VOC levels.
– Move equipment or products that produce pollutants to ventilated areas to minimize pollution.
– Cover formaldehyde-emitting materials and supplies to contain the pollutant.
B. Purify Your Air
For commercial buildings in need of indoor air purifying the most effective measures are those that combine multiple strategies. Most air purifying strategies are designed to remove particulates. There are numerous air purifying system methods, one of them collects pollutant particles through electrostatic precipitation. iIn this process charged particles are drawn from the air by a strong electric field created by oppositely-charged electrodes. Other methods trap and remove particles by drawing air through a filter (particulate filtration).
C. Improve Your Indoor Ventilation
Improving ventilation involves increasing the amount of outdoor air that circulates indoors. If outdoor air is polluted then some filtration will also be necessary. Building ventilation systems are a series of ducts and fans that move stale indoor air outdoors. Some recycled indoor air gets mixed with some outside air and is brought back indoors.
Ventilation systems need to be inspected and cleaned regularly to ensure they are working as well as they should. Regular checks to see if debris is blocking the outdoor air intake, for instance, or the filters are filthy or the machinery is poorly maintained.
It can be difficult to know what is good air quality and what is not, unless you take the initiative to research and discover how to test air quality in your home or business. When looking for an air quality testing laboratory, Torrent Laboratory offers the most impeccable record of quality service and testing results in the industry. Our customer support is timely, efficient and friendly. And our technical support is unrivaled in its professionalism and expertise.
Torrent provides the most advanced capabilities in the region. Our full-service lab offers a host of advantages including:
- Highest certifications
- Fastest possible TAT in the industry
- Unrivaled technical and customer support
- Unparalleled on-time performance
- Impeccable quality
- Competitive pricing
- Convenient geographic location
Trust Torrent as your premier environmental testing laboratory for California and Hawaii.