The Importance of Air Quality Testing

Air quality testing is commonly neglected in homes and offices but it is definitely one of the more critical services to consider. Indoor air pollution can come in many forms and in some cases, is completely odourless. People who live and work in your space could be exposed to polluted air and not even know it! Breathing in bad air on a regular basis can cause mild to severe health reactions or symptoms and reduce your quality of life. Indoor air pollution problems are more common than realized and regular testing is necessary to maintain a healthy environment.

Regular Air Quality Testing is a Must for Your Maintenance Checklist

Indoor air pollution is a common problem among residential and commercial properties as even short term exposure to bad air can cause health problems. Regular air checks are necessary to maintain healthy air and uncover possible air pollution sources early on. Keeping the air clean at your business will increase productivity and reduce sick days increasing your bottom line. Regular air quality inspections at home are critical because residential properties are more prone to indoor pollution. Exposure to bad air during sleep cycles will cause health problems for you and those living in your home as well.

Making Regular Air Quality Testing Part of Your Routine Maintenance is a Healthy Choice

Properties will always require some sort of upkeep and residential homes and commercial facilities are no exception. Air quality testing is one of the more overlooked maintenance checks but is one of the most important. Indoor air quality can be giving you and those around you health related problems. That being said, frequent checks can catch problems early and prevent increased indoor pollution.

Improving air quality contributes to a healthier lifestyle. Breathing cleaner air in your own home can improve sleep patterns and increase energy levels. Illnesses and injuries will also heal faster in cleaner air environments.

Reasons for why Tests are Necessary

  • Detecting naturally occurring radon early on can prevent more severe health related issues in the future. This naturally occurring gas can build up in homes and businesses with poor air circulation.
  • Managing air and identifying and repairing sources of pollution will also remove any strange odours from your space. Many pollutants, especially biological ones, can foul the odour and decrease quality of life.
  • Regular checks may also reveal the presence of dangerous asbestos dust. Many residential properties built from the 1990’s and earlier may have used asbestos in its construction. Frequent tests could reveal this highly toxic particulate in your home’s air.
  • If your home or business has areas of excess humidity, air quality checks are a must as these areas could be prone to mold development and subsequent airborne mold spores and bacteria. Properties that have had previous flood damage must have air quality tests performed to ensure the health and safety of the environment.
  • Furnaces and air conditioners perform better and more efficiently with cleaner air. Dirty air can obstruct filters and create blockages in air exchangers causing HVAC equipment to work harder and consume more energy. Testing the air frequently and keeping the air clean means less wear and tear on HVAC systems and reduced repair costs. Efficiently operating equipment will also reduce energy consumption, saving monthly property operation costs. 
  • The presence of highly toxic pollutants like carbon monoxide can mean a leak in the property’s venting system. Detecting this kind of leak early is crucial as carbon monoxide can be fatal if CO amounts are elevated. Updated testing procedures can quickly detect any abnormal amounts of carbon monoxide and the source of the pollution.
  • If anyone in your family suffers from allergies, an air quality test could reveal pollutants that could be causing those symptoms. Identifying the types and sources of the pollutants is the first step in creating effective solutions to improve air quality and reduce allergy type symptoms.
  • Sick Building Syndrome is much more common in commercial properties as designs lean towards buildings that are sealed from the outside environment. Lack of air circulation can cause serious health issues to those that work inside. Businesses that operate in ‘sick buildings’ can see costs go up as more employees suffer from ailments and need extended time to recover. Productivity is also reduced as workers are exposed to lower quality air on a constant basis. Testing air quality regularly is part of any health and safety inspection as better air means healthier employees which reduces costs and increases productivity.
  • Asthma sufferers will appreciate regular air quality management as sensitivity to pollutants, dust and biological particulates is increased and could trigger asthma attacks more often. Cleaner air means deeper breaths and less attacks for those with asthma. Younger children could also develop asthma type conditions when exposed to bad quality air on a regular basis. Air sampling by trained professionals can reveal any current and potential quality problems that could cause more frequent asthma episodes.
  • Many families consider their pets full fledged family members but their hair could be causing serious air quality problems in your home. While pet dander and hair can have a visual presence, some are at the microscopic level and can easily stay in the home’s air stream. Testing for particulate in the air can indicate how serious the problem can be and which solutions would be best for your environment.

Managing the air at your home or business is a major component to maintaining a healthy and safe living or working environment. We use the most detailed testing procedures at InchByInch to give you the full picture on the air quality in your space and what you can do about improving it if there are issues.

Common Pollutants Found Inside Homes and Businesses

You might be surprised at the laundry list of common toxins and pollutants found in the air you breathe. At InchByInch, we have extensively tested many different environments and some of the major pollutants are:

  • Carbon monoxide, which is the exhaust that is created when gas powered appliances burn fuel to operate. Equipment such as furnaces and hot water tanks use natural gas and the exhaust created must be properly vented outside. Even small microscopic cracks in piping can elevate levels of carbon monoxide in your home or business, which can be fatal.
  • Airborne mold spores and bacteria, which is an offshoot of mold commonly found in areas with increased humidity or past flood damage. Moldy air can cause respiratory problems and prolong infections and viruses.
  • Asbestos dust, which is created by the breakdown of asbestos material which was previously used in construction. Shaped like tiny sharp points, asbestos dust has been known to cause cancer and other respiratory problems.
  • Second hand smoke from cigarettes has a lingering effect as toxins can embed themselves in fibers and can heavily pollute the air. Second hand smoke can cause the same short and long term health problems that smoking itself causes.
  • Radon is a naturally occurring gas but can build up to toxic level in homes and commercial properties with poor or obstructed air circulation. Radon is especially dangerous because it is odourless, colourless and can only be detected with professional air quality testing. Long term exposure to radon has been known to cause cancers in humans.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds are found in many everyday household items and can enter the air stream as they break down and off gas. These are chemicals that maintain themselves but turn into gas as they break down over time. VOCs can cause a wide range of mild to severe medical problems when exposed.
  • Lead particulate and dust can easily find its way into the local airstream as the material was commonly used in many household paints and finishes. Lead is highly toxic to humans and can cause severe lung and respiratory problems with long term exposure.
  • Pesticide residue is another common household pollutant and can have adverse health effects on those living in the home. Most pesticides for residential use have toxic properties that do the job of killing insects. Extended use of such chemicals and the lack of proper air exchange can cause these residual toxins to build up inside the home. These chemicals are just as harsh on humans and can create a number of respiratory problems and chronic conditions especially in young children.
  • Formaldehyde gasses are another common pollutant in homes and commercial properties as the chemical is used extensively in building materials and wood products. Over time, formaldehyde coatings on surfaces can break down and create gasses that that are considered toxic. Even immediate exposure to formaldehyde gasses can cause skin and eye irritation as well as respiratory problems.

We use the latest testing equipment at InchByInch and can detect and identify the source of all the pollutants unique to your space.

Bad Indoor Air Quality can be Caused by Different Sources

Enclosed structures are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to maintaining air quality. There could be many different causes to a bad air quality situation in your home or business:

  • Environmental factors such as outdoor pollens, bacteria and allergens entering the home or business are a major cause of indoor air pollution. These pollutants travel freely at the microscopic level and can enter a dwelling or building through even the smallest cracks and openings. Deteriorating or broken insulation can also allow outdoor pollutants to contaminate the indoor air space.
  • Improper venting of appliance exhaust fumes can cause varying levels of carbon monoxide inside the home or business. Equipment such as gas furnaces, gas powered hot water tanks and gas stoves create deadly carbon monoxide fumes that must be vented away from the home to the outside. Older home may have non-functioning venting of these appliances which may cause small amounts of CO to leak into the home. Over time this can build up to toxic and even fatal levels if not detected and repaired.
  • Both older and newer residential homes have been known to have elevated amounts of radon gas which can easily seep through cracks and small holes in homes that have natural gas.
  • Various types of paint, carpets and other common household items have been known to contain asbestos which can contaminate the air with microscopic blade shaped dust that can cause serious health problems with consistent exposure.
  • Areas in the home or business that have excess humidity or have had flood damage may be prone to mold which can contaminate the air with its own bacteria and spores that are released into the air.

Many of these causes are odorless and do not have visual cues - they are only detectable via detailed and professional air quality testing.

InchByInch is Your Trusted Partner for Air Quality Management at Your Home or Business

The air we breathe is too important to take chances with and only experienced and trained professionals should be hired for air quality testing and management. You may have an indoor pollution problem if you or anyone close to you is suffering from any of the usual symptoms or illnesses associated with low air quality. Hiring a professional to assess the situation is your next step and we at InchByInch, have extensive experience in both residential and commercial air quality management. We are your first choice for testing and diagnosis of current and potential problems. At InchByInch, we use the most up to date testing equipment for accurate and detailed air quality reports. Once testing and inspections are complete, we will also provide the most economical and effective solutions for your air quality problems which will restore the inside air to healthy levels. With extensive experience under our belt, we at InchByInch, understand the unique air quality challenges that exist in residential homes and commercials properties. We can quickly find and correct common sources of indoor pollutants. Call us at 888-445-0737 or visit https://www.inchbyinchinspections.com/services/air-quality-testing-and-inspection for more information.

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