Home Inspection 101: What You Need to Know About Indoor Air Quality
Many homeowners dismiss the idea of indoor air quality testing. Contrary to false beliefs, pollution isn’t just found outdoors. Harmful pollutants might also be thriving within the confines of our homes. This is the same reason why inspectors promote indoor air quality testing standards during home inspections. But what is it and why do you need to pass this test? Read on to know more.
What is indoor air quality evaluation?
This is the process of testing the cleanliness of the indoor air on a house or commercial property. The testing is done using a special apparatus like a cassettes that will gauge the number of particulates in the air.
This will be compared to the safe range prescribed for homes. Homeowners and buyers will benefit from this testing as it will give them a clear picture of the condition of various home systems. Usually, indoor air pollution is connected to your HVAC system.
Common air pollutants inside your home
These are particles and gasses that go airborne after using your stove, heating systems, and even smoking indoors. The most common combustion pollutants include carbon monoxide, which is very lethal. A concentration of carbon monoxide can kill a person within minutes. Exposure to other combustion pollutants will also cause an aggregated effect on the occupant’s health.
Like carbon monoxide, Radon is colorless and odorless. It usually reaches unsafe levels in the basement and lower floor areas of homes. Proper ventilation should allow Radon to dissipate into the outdoor air.
Radon comes from decaying uranium. This can be found in soil in small amounts. While other areas will have higher concentrations.
Take note that Radon poisoning kills about 21,000 Americans every year. This is why you should take indoor air quality standards seriously.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
VOCs can be found on numerous commercial products. Paint, shower curtains, new carpets, and even printers will emit these harmful compounds into the air.
VOC vapors usually have a foul smell and can cause nausea and dizziness during prolonged exposure. It’s also the culprit behind the “sick building syndrome”. Air-conditioned commercial spaces tend to trap VOCs found on carpeting and other items. It will cause multiple employees to get sick for unexplained reasons.
Mold and mildew
Many American homes suffer from mold and mildew infestation. Still, a large number of affected homes only discover the problem when the infestation is already at an advanced stage. This is the reason why home inspections should be done regularly.
Molds can come from unmaintained HVAC units, furnaces, and water leaks. When the spores go airborne, the occupant will inhale it. Over time, this can lead to respiratory problems. Occupants with asthma and other conditions may experience recurring attacks.
Knowing how to test air quality in your home starts by hiring an inspector. Aside from checking the air condition of your home, you can also ask them to conduct a full inspection to spot the possible cause of the problem. It may cost more, but it’s worth it for the safety of the occupants and future buyers.