Air quality, is an important determinant of how healthy one will be. It is therefore imperative that everyone identify methods of how to test air quality at their homes.
Research results show that indoor air quality is often poor or lowly rated compared to outdoor air quality. For good life and health, the quality of the air you breathe should be known and improved by all means possible.
How much does a home indoor air quality test cost?
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High levels of air quality ensure that you and your family are able to live a life unaffected by allergies and disease causing germs and dirt.
Consequently, it is important to invest both financially and physically to ensure that the air quality in your house is clean and at highly acceptable levels. Proper air quality enhances your health, helps you relax easily and enhances your comfort as you spend time at home with family and friends.
One obstacle that stands in the way of people measuring and discovering their indoor air quality is price. Not because it is expensive but because they do not know how much it costs.
An air quality test is highly affordable and is dependent on a few factors.
1. The size of your space
Experts who help you identify the air quality inside your house, charge depending on the size of your house. The larger your house or the space whose air quality you need tested, the higher the price.
Like every other expense in your house, air quality testing ensures that you and your family enjoy the time you spend in your house. It also ensures that you have high energy levels to keep working and are unlikely to get sick.
2. The type of allergens and germs being tested
Air quality is highly affected by the germs and allergens in it. Different types of germs affect you differently. Some cause diseases and conditions such as asthma, flu, ears, nose and throat problems and eye problems.
Most common germs and allergens often found in air quality tests are mold, radon and other household air quality contaminants.
Tests for each of these contaminants, germs and allergens cost differently but are a great investment in your health and comfort in your family home or office.
3. Expertise of the testers
Like in every other service, the cost of air quality testing in your home is determined by the expertise of the person you choose to help you carry out the exercise. High level experts and health agencies charge differently depending on their service levels and the equipment that they will use.
4. Scope of the test
Different levels of air quality tests can be carried out for your home. Different tests require different equipment and products to gather an accurate reading.
In addition, different tests require highly advanced and engaging reports that take longer to complete and thus are charged more.
Even with all these factors to consider, it is important that we ensure that we carry out regular home indoor air quality tests.
Depending on where you live, the equipment and methods you prefer for testing your indoor air quality, testing prices range from $200 to $1,000. A worthwhile investment that will ensure that you are in good health and that your home is a perfect place to live and relax.
Air quality tests for your home also enable you to make improvements around your house that help you improve circulation and air quality within the house.
Does air quality test detect mold?
Mold in the house causes lots of problems to those living there. Mold causes respiratory diseases and allergies such as asthma, sneezing, coughing and even runny and itch eyes.
When these conditions occur to people living in the same house, they can instantly guess that the air quality in their house is poor and that there could be mold in their house.
Mold is highly common in the outdoors.
However, when appropriate conditions for its growth in the house are present, it will easily grow there. In addition, it can be easily blown into the house by the wind or carried in by those living in the house through their clothes as they go indoors.
Among other contaminants, mold is among the major cause of poor indoor air quality that air quality tests detect.
Besides the test, mold is also easily identified when it appears in areas of high visibility. It also sometimes grows on areas of low visibility and the occupiers of the house may manifest respiratory problems as a result.
Suggested read: How to Choose the Best Mold Test Kit
What are the causes of mold indoors?
1. Suitable growing conditions
For mold to grow, the only requirement are moisture, enough heat and light and mold spores. Mold spores are light and easily blown away by the wind.
When they come into our houses, if they land in a place with conditions suitable for mold growth, they will in about two days have started to grow as mold.
This is why it is imperative that we ensure that our houses are always clean and dry.
2. Wet clothes in the house
To prevent the presence of mold in your house and consequently improve the quality of air in it, ensure that you do not store or keep wet clothes in the house.
After laundry, ensure that your clothes are completely dry. This reduces chances of mold spores finding a location your clothes with suitable conditions for the growth of mold.
When your clothes develop a pungent smell, it is often because you stored them when they were not completely dry and mold has started to grow on them even though it is not visible at the point that you identify the smell.
3. Water leaks in your house
Ensure that you fix all water leaks in your house once you identify them. Fix the leaks on your pipes, roof and walls. Humidity is a prime condition for the growth of mold.
Leaks cause your house to be humid, thus creating the perfect conditions for the growth of mold.
4. Poor air circulation
This is often a consequence of poor ventilation in the house. To improve circulation in the house, ensure that you open the windows regularly to allow the humid air indoors to leave and allow for the dry air to come in.
Also, HVAC systems should be checked regularly to ensure that they are working optimally in ensuring proper circulation in our houses.
Proper circulation by ensuring that all humid areas of the house get clean air ensures that mold does not grow in the house.
Regular air quality tests in the house help identify and detect the presence of mold. Ensuring that these conditions suitable for the growth of mold do not exist in the house ensure high air quality indoors.
What are the signs of poor air quality?
Before you call in the experts for an air quality test at your home, there are numerous signs and indications that occur when there is poor air quality in your house.
Overnight, you realize that there is something different about how your house feels. It smells and feels different, it is not as cool or warm as before. These changes could be an indication of poor air quality in your house.
Listed are some of the signs of poor air quality in your house.
1. Sudden respiratory problems with the members of the household
Sniffles, sneezes, coughs, itchy eyes and even asthmatic attacks are some of the prominent indicators of poor air quality.
It is important that doors and windows are opened regularly to ensure that clean air enters the house.
Also, fast action is required lest these conditions caused by poor air quality persist and lead to further expenses in doctor’s visit when they could have easily been prevented or cured by ensuring simple hygiene and air circulation enablers such as wiping and drying clean surfaces and clothes and removing or washing or dirt and dirty things within the house.
2. Presence of mold
The presence of mold in corners around your house is a clear indication of poor air quality as a result of poor air circulation. With proper circulation, areas prone to the growth of mold dry up quickly when they are wet and humid.
In addition, mold will not be present in dry and clean areas and areas of the house that are open to direct sunlight and fresh air currents from the wind.
When you experience odd odors in your house, this is a sign of poor air quality.
To prevent these, first ensure that the house and everything in it is clean and dry. Dirty clothes, shoes, and dishes lead to bad odors that lead to poor quality of air in the house. The smell in a dirty house is so pungent and strong it could almost choke you.
Odors in the house are also a consequence of poor ventilation. Open the windows to your house and ensure that your HVAC system is working optimally for proper ventilation and a higher quality of indoors air.
When there is too much dust in your house, this is a sign of poor circulation and an indicator of poor air quality. Dust irritates the respiratory system, leading to the conditions above and allergic reactions.
Through regular cleaning and properly working HVAC systems reduce the dust in your house thus improving air quality.
5. Patches of water
Have you ever looked at your walls and seen a patch of concurrent rings that is grey-brown in color? That is an indication of excess humidity or a leak. That the leak caused the patch, is a sign that the air quality in the house is poor.
Damp walls from these patches. Dampness is a good condition for the growth of mold and mold is a good indicator of poor air quality.
How do you deal with poor air quality?
Most times we encounter the signs that we are facing a situation of poor air quality. This is indicated by respiratory ailments and the rising of allergies and asthmatic attacks for those with asthma.
Poor air quality also leads to difficulties in breathing and hinders you from enjoying the indoors. When this happens, you prefer to be outdoors.
Poor air quality may also occur when you are outdoors. For example, due to industrialization, cars and living in large cities with huge population numbers, we often encounter smog filled environments and feel that we do not want to breathe in the visibly dirty air.
We agonize over the rot in the environment and keep racking our brains in search of ways to avoid the poor air quality in our cities.
Here are a few ways we can deal with poor air quality to avoid the devastating effects.
1. Wear a face mask when outdoors
Whenever you are outdoors, wearing a face mask is a brilliant way to prevent yourself from breathing in the smog filled air of the city. A face mask covers your nose ensuring that you are not breathing in the dirty air.
This helps protect you from respiratory diseases and allergies caused by allergens such as dust.
2. Use air purifiers
Air purifiers help you clean the air indoors. They ensure that allergens and dust particles are reduced significantly, enhancing the quality of air you interact with. This in turn helps improve the levels of air quality.
3. Avoid the outdoors
As a result of capitalism and industrialization, there are days when the skies of busy manufacturing cities are filled with fog like smoke. If you do not have to be outdoors, kindly remain indoors and it will work for you even in the long run. You will manage to avoid the poor air quality and enjoy peace of mind and good health.
4. Enhancing circulation
When there is poor air quality, it is important to ensure proper air circulation. Open the windows if necessary and have your HVAC systems looked at and serviced for better and efficient air circulation that leads to proper air quality in your house.
5. Call in the professionals
When you have tried everything else and nothing is working, your last resort will be to call in the professionals. They will carry out an air quality test and provide you with a report of the dirt in the air in your house.
They will help you tackle your poor air quality problem and ensure that you get proper air quality within a few hours.
What is normal air quality?
Normal air quality refers to high levels of cleanliness in the air being breathed. It ensures that you can breathe comfortably without having to worry about allergens and contaminants.
An air test that is professionally or individually conducted can easily tell whether air in your house is proper air quality or not.
An air quality index is used to measure air quality. Normal air quality falls from 0-100 in the tests which represents good and moderate air quality.
Benefits of normal air quality
- Enhances health
Normal air quality unlike poor air quality ensures that those who breathe it are in good health. For example a walk in the park is therapeutic and has numerous health benefits.
When the air quality is normal, people are able to enjoy the indoors without getting allergies or respiratory conditions.
2. Reduces presence of mold indoors
In conditions of normal air quality, there are lower levels of humidity. As a result, conditions for the growth of mold are minimized and thus reducing the chances of growing mold in our houses. Normal air quality ensures that the sun reaches all corners of the house shining ultra violet and drying humid areas reducing the occurrence of mold.
3. Saves you money
Normal air quality ensures that you do not have to pay for poor air quality expenses to have technicians look at your HVAC systems and test your indoor air quality. In addition, you save money on medical bills since you will not get sick in any way.
4. Enhances day to day life
Having to live life with a face mask every day is not an enjoyable life. Normal air quality enables you to enjoy life easily without the risk or scare of getting sick. Good air quality enables one to see the beauty of the environment as the animals and plants all work together in nature.
5. Normal air quality leads to beautiful surroundings
When there is high quality air quality, the environment is usually very beautiful. Poor air quality leads to poor or lack of growth in plants due to the chemicals in the air that stunt their growth and cause them not to grow.
Without the smog in the air, the environment is very beautiful and people are able to enjoy and indulge in nature.
Air quality v Mold test
Air quality test refers to a test that determines the quality of air within a specific location for example a house.
An air quality test, tests air in several different parameters. The results of the test then determine how safe the air in that place is.
An air quality test is highly affordable and highly recommended to ensure that you are living and relaxing areas have high quality air maximizing your enjoyment.
Air quality tests are easy to administer and can be done individually, or through the use of professionals. There are different tests that are easily available for DIY experiments while other advanced tests can only be carried out by experts.
Mold tests on the other hand are tests that check for the presence of mold in the air. They are part of air quality tests.
Different air quality experts have different opinions on mold tests. Majority of them hold the view that independent mold tests are unnecessary and should be conducted as part of air quality tests.
This is because mold is airborne and could be found anywhere whether it is growing there or not.
Comparing the air quality test and mold test
The air quality test is superior to the mold test. While the mold test only tests for the presence of mold, the air quality test, checks the general quality of air including the presence of mold in the air among other determinants of air quality.
Whether conducted by an expert or as a DIY, the air quality test is more expensive than the mold test. Due the number of variables it investigates, the air quality test has a higher price compared to that of the mold test that only tests for the presence of mold in the air.
The air quality test is more complex compared to the mold test. It returns pages upon pages of results while the mold test only helps you make a simple observation of whether mold is present or not.
Due to its thoroughness in testing lots of parameters, the air quality test is highly accurate. The mold test on the other hand could find that mold is absent in the air but with certain conditions such as vacuum blowing the carpet to raise dust could show the presence of mold.
The mold test is therefore highly subjective and its accuracy cannot be compared to that of the air quality test.
On its own, the mold test is not necessary. This is because a mold test is included as part of the air quality test which test more parameters on the ultimate quality of the air in a house.
It is important that people find out the quality of the air they breathe especially indoors where they spend most of their time. Poor air quality leads to myriad health problems which especially affect the respiratory system.
High air quality ensures that we are in good health and able to work to the best of our ability. In addition, we are able to relax and regain our strength in clean environments that do not have adverse effects on our health.