Detecting Indoor Air Pollution with an Indoor Air Quality Survey


Most people are aware of problems with outdoor air pollution like smog, but may not be as cognizant of problems concerning indoor air quality. The truth is that the air inside your home could be much more polluted than the air outside your door. This is because pollutants in the home tend to accumulate, rather than being blown away by regularly-occurring weather patterns. Here are some tips on detecting indoor air pollution, its sources, and how you can make positive changes in your home’s air quality.

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Detecting Air Pollution in Your Home with an Indoor Air Quality Survey

While it can be difficult to know whether or not your home’s air is polluted, there are signs you can look for to make a preliminary determination. Some warning signs include:

  • Excessive dirt and dust buildup in and around air vents or other areas.
  • Little or no circulation inside the home.
  • Respiratory or breathing problems among family members that may abate when they leave the home.
  • Peculiar smells that can’t be eradicated, such as a musty or mildew smell.
  • Mold and/or excessive humidity in the home.

These signs, especially in conjunction with one another, can signal serious problems with your indoor air quality. The next step is identifying specific pollutants that may be causing problems inside your home.

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Common Air Pollutants You Can Identify with an Indoor Air Quality Survey

Indoor air pollution has some very common causes. Some of these include:

  • Cleaners and other household chemicals.
  • Dander and hair from pets.
  • Formaldehyde, often found in new furniture or building materials.
  • Carbon monoxide, often from improper venting or improper combustion in heating or cooking fuels.
  • Lead or lead dust from old paint or outdated building materials.
  • Radon, a colorless and odorless gas that can originate from the soil beneath your home.
  • Asbestos from old insulation.
  • Dust, mold, and mildew build-up.

These substances may be brought in with new furniture, remodeling materials, carpeting, and many other avenues of entry. New furniture is often constructed with flame retardant materials that can expel gasses or particulates into your home’s air. Improper ventilation and circulation leads to a build-up of these pollutants and can result in mild to severe health problems.

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Improving Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

Your home can have better indoor air quality if you’re willing to make a few changes. Aside from improving your home’s ventilation, which can be somewhat expensive and time-consuming, you can try:

  • Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products and using natural cleansers like vinegar and baking soda.
  • Installing an air cleaner.
  • Ensuring that stoves, furnaces, water heaters, and other areas where fuel combustion may take place are vented properly and burning fuel efficiently.
  • Replacing asbestos insulation with a safer alternative.
  • Avoiding smoking inside the home.
  • Buying carpets and home renovation supplies from reputable sources.
  • Reducing pesticide use whenever possible and using natural alternatives like Borax solution for ongoing pest control.

Pollution inside your home can lead to health problems relatively immediately, but there may also be long-term effects that develop after extended exposure. You or your family may develop asthma, neurological problems, heart problems, or even cancer.

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In order to protect your family and keep your home as pollution-free as possible, follow the tips above and always be aware of changes in your home’s air quality. This is especially important if you’re remodeling or you’ve brought new furniture into the home. If you notice new or worsening health problems, new odors invade your home, or you otherwise think your air quality might be poor, take steps to protect yourself and your family by finding sources of pollution, improving your home’s air flow, and replacing toxic products with healthier alternatives.

For over 20 years, we have been helping people who are working on improving indoor air quality by providing high quality workmanship with unparalleled customer service to both residential and commercial customers. Our staff of professionals are dedicated to serving your specific needs from the moment you contact us until the completion of your remediation project. Visit our website or contact us today for more information or to schedule your mold remediation consultation.

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