What You Need to Know about Air Quality Testing

Once autumn rolls around, our windows are not open very often. The fresh but cold air is kept out and the quality of our indoor air becomes more important. Air pollution is often thought of as an outdoor threat but air pollution can be an indoor problem as well. What products you have in your home, and the kind of ventilation you may have, will impact the air quality of your home.

Infants, children and the elderly can be more susceptible to certain products in the air, as well as persons whose health is already compromised, such as people with asthma. Yet most people don’t really think about what may be present in the air inside their homes. For those who are curious, a simple indoor air quality test can provide a lot of information.

Types of indoor air pollutants

Trying to compile a list of all the pollutants would be tough as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) can include a wide range of different chemicals. They fall into three categories.

Fumes         

These pollutants are gaseous:

VOCs: Volatile organic chemicals are chemicals emitted by many of the products and materials we have in our homes. Most VOCs can’t be detected by smell, and easily evaporate into the air at room temperature. VOC levels can be prone to dramatic swings. Paint stripping can result in levels that are 1,000 times the outdoor average. Simply storing your leftover paint cans in the garage can raise levels, as well as storing unopened cleaning products under your sink. One of the worst VOCs is formaldehyde, which is found in many common household products, including air fresheners and plug-in fragrances.

Radon:  Radon is a radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste. It comes from the mineral uranium that occurs naturally in the ground and is found in every home, though the levels will vary and will not always be dangerous. Radon is a leading cause of lung cancer.

Carbon monoxide: Carbon monoxide (CO) is a clear and odourless gas that is poisonous. Defective furnaces, fireplaces, flues, and oil heaters are often responsible for accidental CO poisonings. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal but a carbon monoxide detector can alert homeowners if the levels rise.

Particulates

These very fine particles in the air can be liquid or solid and can get deep into lung tissue. They include allergens, dust, animal dander but the worst is secondhand smoke. Tobacco smoke emits particulates but is also a VOC.

Biological

Humidity, breaks in water lines and flooding are frequent sources of biological pollutants.  When too much moisture accumulates in a home, mould starts to grow. When mould is actively growing it releases gases into the air that can cause infections and other health issues.

Finally, any discussion regarding indoor air quality should include carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. While elevated CO2 levels inside a home are not dangerous, research has shown direct correlation between high CO2 levels and cognitive performance. The higher the amount of CO2 the more tired we feel and the less productive we become. Another reason CO2 levels in the home matter is that as CO2 levels increase, the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and micro-organisms in the air rise too. You should also know that newer homes are airtight which leads to higher levels of CO2. If you are living in a newer dwelling, an air exchanger is a good option to consider.

How to improve your indoor air quality

Some simple steps can drastically reduce the risks of poor indoor air quality

  • Get a carbon monoxide detector for each floor of your home and make sure your furnace and gas appliances are checked and maintained annually.
  • Get your home tested for radon. Read more about radon home testing here.
  • Do not allow any smoking in your home under any circumstances.
  • Get a dehumidifier and make sure bathrooms and kitchens have vent fans.
  • Avoid using products with VOCs indoors and if you must, make sure to ventilate well with fans and windows.
  • If carbon dioxide levels are too high, open your window regularly to allow some fresh air to enter and circulate. Or get an air exchanger that will also help eliminate VOCs.
  • Get your air quality tested. The best way to determine the quality of your indoor air is to have it tested by a professional.

Winter is a great time to have the quality of your indoor air tested for pollutants and other contaminants. Mose inspectors are equipped with advanced devices to detect and determine the air quality in your home, or in a home you are about to purchase.

Remember, our goal is to provide you with everything you need to know about your home.

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Lay Chan Wee
Lay Chan Wee
01:19 31 Aug 21
I was impressed with the service provided by Rui Su. He was organized, explained in detail area that I am not familiar... with. He provided a good report. I will recommend him if you need home inspection.read more
Mary Jane Caro
Mary Jane Caro
14:25 27 Aug 21
I am always pleased to recommend Carol Mose from Mose Home Inspection Services to my clients who have had offers... accepted on residential real estate properties. She is knowledgeable, thorough, provides clear explanations, and delivers comprehensive reports.read more
Massimo Pannunzio
Massimo Pannunzio
22:05 25 Aug 21
Michael has got to be on of the best home inspectors in all of Quebec. It was amazing working with him and he had my... best interest at heart when making a life changing decision. He made sure I had all the answers and made it easy to work with him. I will be using Mose inspection for any moment that I need an inspection done that's for sure!read more
Amanda Lee
Amanda Lee
19:14 16 Jun 21
Amazing experience with Carol Mose who helped me with a pre-purchase inspection! She was very approachable and... observant, and informed me of all her first impressions on-site. This gave me greater understanding of any conditions as I was able to ask any quick questions on the spot. Her reports are the most thorough that I've seen and include diagrams to help explain what any physical signs mean and potential consequences. Could not have asked for a better inspector!read more
Maeghan Banks
Maeghan Banks
15:38 14 Jun 21
Carol was wonderful to work with for our pre-purchase inspection. She was professional, thorough and communicative,... taking the time to explain her findings as we went through the house. After the inspection, we felt we had clear knowledge of the condition of the house (both pros and cons), allowing us to move forward with the purchase with confidence. Highly recommend!read more
Ryan Chalupovitsch
Ryan Chalupovitsch
13:43 01 Jun 21
Carol Mose is the best home inspector in the business. Approachable and extremely knowledgeable. She did an... inspection for me and really took the time to explain her findings and help me understand the home I was looking to purchase. Cannot recommend her enough. Don’t hesitate.read more
Elisabeth Faure
Elisabeth Faure
21:16 29 Apr 21
This is the second time I have used MOSE, and they are always really amazing. Very nice, very professional. they came... to have a look at my roof and let me know if we were due for a repair - I was very satisfied with everything and would recommend them to anybody!read more
Hannah S
Hannah S
22:05 16 Apr 21
I had a great experience with Mose home inspection. My husband and I are first time homebuyers and so had a ton of... questions about the process. Everyone we talked with was really informative and helpful. Michael was our inspector and was phenomenal. The inspection was very thorough and he explained everything in detail with realistic next steps for us to take. We came out of the inspection feeling really informed. Plus, he is just an absolute delight! He had very contagious enthusiasm and made the inspection a really positive experience. Would highly recommend!read more
Gabriel Lukuc
Gabriel Lukuc
03:05 16 Apr 21
Michael was amazing. He took the time to explain to us what’s really important and the reasoning behind it. We’re not... very handy nor savvy when it comes to home construction so we really appreciate him taking the time to explain to us all aspects of the inspection. Also, Michael was friendly, professional and timely; he provided the report over a holiday and a weekend.read more
Stephanie Ballard
Stephanie Ballard
14:24 19 Mar 21
MOSE is the best in the business. Once again we were happy with their inspection services - they are professional,... friendly and knowledgeable. Would not hesitate to recommend to friends and family (and have)!read more
Rodrigo Morales
Rodrigo Morales
18:27 10 Sep 20
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