Most homeowners don’t give the air quality in their houses much thought, which is too bad, because research tells us the air in most homes is much more polluted than outdoor air. It has to do with the fact that today’s homes are built to be airtight so as to be more efficient and not allow conditioned air to escape. While this is great for energy bills, it isn’t great for our breathing.
Perhaps some of your family members are showing signs of respiratory distress and you’re curious as to whether or not your home’s air is high in airborne pollutants. If that’s the case, read on and learn ways to measure air quality and — if need be — how to improve it.
Measuring Air Quality
The only surefire way to measure air quality is to either hire a professional to perform tests or to purchase an air quality monitor. These devices are usually designed to detect dust particles and other allergens, volatile organic compounds (chemicals), temperature, and humidity.
Other Ways to Detect Pollutants
Other methods to detect pollutants are less exact. For instance, if you smell a musty smell or if your home measures high in relative humidity, you may assume mold spores are present.
You can also install a carbon monoxide detector to monitor levels of CO — a deadly gas given off by fuel-burning appliances — in your home.
Radon, a gas that is present in the soil under many residential dwellings, can be measured by experts with the right equipment, or with an at-home radon-testing kit. If your home measures high in radon, you may need to schedule professional treatment, which could include installation of a barrier.
Clearing the Air
To clear up most airborne pollutants, try installing a good-quality (dense) air filter in your HVAC system, rated 8 to 12 on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale. Also, purchase an air cleaner, but consult an expert about the type of pollutants you want to clean and about the best technology to deal with it.
For more on ways to measure air quality, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc., which has served Neptune and the surrounding areas since 1948.