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Ways to Test Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality This Winter

Ways to Test Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality This Winter

Because most of the average 22,000 breaths you take each day are inside your home, indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important issue. Increased awareness of energy conservation and indoor temperature control have made homes more tightly air-sealed in order to keep heat and cooling inside. However, that also means airborne particles and pollutants accumulate indoors as well.

What’s up in the air in your home? Here’s a short list of common indoor, airborne pollutants you may be inhaling with every breath.

  • Particulate matter, typically known as PM, is a catch-all term for inert particles afloat in indoor air.  PM includes common dust particles, lint from fabrics, soot and smoke, pet dander, and other similar substances.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemical vapors may be released by paint, glue, carpeting, and other common sources.
  • Carbon monoxide. This deadly gas may originate from gas-fired appliances, space heaters, or a central furnace.
  • Radon. Gradually emitted by the earth in certain locales, this radioactive gas may seep into houses through the foundation. Long-term inhalation of radon can cause lung cancer.
  • Excess humidity and temperature extremes. These common conditions are part of the indoor environment, too, and they affect both comfort and health.   

Indoor Air Quality Options

Knowledge is power when it comes to maintaining healthy indoor air quality while also keeping the house comfortable and efficient. Today, the average homeowner has available options to stay informed about the home environment. In recent years, technology has brought the consumer market an array of affordable devices that can detect and display many of the airborne pollutants in a typical house.

  • Household units available today can display common pollutants — VOCs, particulate matter, radon, high relative humidity. and others — all in a single unit.
  • Carbon monoxide is usually detected by dedicated units for that purpose only. Typically, several CO detectors are installed throughout the house.  
  • In addition to the DIY approach, professional IAQ testing is available too. These units are placed in the house for a temporary period. Results are continuously recorded and later downloaded.

For more about ways to ensure healthy indoor air quality in your home, talk to the professionals at Powers Heating & Air.

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