We talk about outside pollutants a LOT. There are even multiple maps of Texas with real-time pollutant advisories.
But why, WHY are we only talking about outside pollutants? How much time you really spend outside…even in the summer? Don’t you think the air quality inside your home is even more important? Just look at how much time you spend there!
Yes, indoor air quality IS important. That’s why, for starters, we are whole-heartedly recommending you hire a professional to test the air quality in your home—whether it’s us or someone else. That said…if you want to start with DIY tests and options to test your home’s air quality, we’re about to lay out some options for you here. Your health is more important than our business, and air quality at home is something we want ALL households to take seriously.
Air quality tests…why do we do them?
Air quality is a FREQUENTLY overlooked aspect of home safety. But the trillions of organic elements, harmful chemicals and toxic agents throughout the air in your home will impact your comfort, health and well-being if left unchecked…
The EPA estimates that Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. Additional studies by the EPA and MANY other groups have also shown that indoor air pollutant levels are even HIGHER than pollutant levels found outside.
But…while you live in Texas, you don’t have oil refineries or major pollen producers inside, right? Well sure. Here are the pollutants that ARE common in the air you breathe at home:
- Biological contaminants – These consist of bacteria, viruses, mold, dust mites, animal dander, fibers and fiberglass, cockroach allergen…and more. These contaminants MULTIPLY and positively run rampant in the absence of home maintenance…
- Secondhand smoke – This pollutant can worsen symptoms for asthma sufferers, increase the risk of ear infections in kids, and contribute to a LONG list of “et ceteras.”
- Radon – This is a dangerous gas pollutant identified by the EPA as the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon enters your home from outdoors through cracks, and then collects inside, building to dangerous levels.
- Combustion pollutants – These include carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide (which, in the home, generally come from fuel-burning appliances like space heaters, water heaters and dryers).
3 at-home air quality tests
And here we are at last! EVERYTHING we’ve touched on makes it CLEAR why the air quality in your home is important…and yes, it will be easiest and safest for you to hire a professional for an air quality consultation. But there ARE a few options to check the air quality at your home on your own…let’s take a look!!
1: Test for mold in the air
Mold is one of the most common household pollutants, and few indoor air quality monitors report on it. So, it’s important to start with a manual check (using your eyes and nose), and then purchase an at-home mold test if you have ANY doubt or find ANY SIGNS of mold in your home.
2: Purchase an air quality monitor
There are TONS of air quality monitors on the market today…and most of them will effectively detect the air quality in your home, even logging those registries over time. These devices usually cost between $150 and $250 dollars and are more for the “long haul” in monitoring your home’s air quality.
3: At-home radon testing
Radon (a radioactive gas that occurs naturally as uranium breaks down) is everywhere. And it’s only in the last 20 years that studies have confirmed (now countless times) that radon levels collect in structures (without the natural air movement of the outdoors) …and that heightened level of radon has been identified as the second leading cause for lung cancer in the U.S.
Performing an at-home radon test just requires another “kit” purchase…most of these tests are based on a reading after the sensor has been left in your home for some time. The sensor then has to be mailed to a lab for analysis.
When the professionals come in…
If you don’t have the time (or fell off the “DIY wagon” when you read, “send the sensor in to a lab,” hiring a professional to test—and improve—your at-home air quality will be an immediate win for you and your family.
A professional will be able to test for what we call “degraded air,” including factors like:
- Lead-based paint
- Dust particles and other allergens
- Smoke-related pollution
- Particles from household cleaners
- Combustion particles and gases
Your golden ticket: When it comes to air quality, whatever particles are in your home will be moving around AND collecting in your air ducts over the years. Keeping this system clean is ESSENTIAL—and we’ll show you why…
These are air ducts we JUST cleaned a couple weeks ago…note the build-up in these things!! That gray fluff includes everything from hair and skin to sawdust…and everything else that’s entered the house…
And then, the satisfying “after” pictures of this air duct system. Look at the timestamp—this client’s whole system was cleaned in a single day!
Keeping your family safe is your priority, and there’s no one to blame for the fact that we simply don’t talk enough about at-home air quality. But here we are now, your Signature team, stepping up to the mic! The quality of the air in your home will have a DIRECT impact on the comfort, well–being and health of everyone who spends time there…so take a look at these DIY tests or call us for a professional consultation today!!