Would it surprise you to know that the quality of air in your home could actually be making you sick? Things you can’t see or smell, like radon and mold, could be health risks and you wouldn’t even know it. The good news is that you can now test your home for pollutants and eradicate them with special treatments.
How to Test for and Prevent Mold
The easiest way to tell if there’s mold in your home is to look for it. While there are likely mold spores present before you can see them, they’re only present for a day or two before becoming visible. To prevent them from growing in the first place, check your gutters and downspouts every season and be sure they’re clean.
Signs of poor indoor air quality may include excessive amounts of dust or increased difficulty breathing in your home. People with allergies or other breathing problems will often be some of the first to experience the effects of poor indoor air quality. Sometimes you might even smell the problem before you can see it. If your home smells musty or stale, it means something is off as far as your air quality goes. You’re most likely to notice these unusual smells when you come home after being out of the house for a while.
You also want to ensure that all your gutter pipes extend five or more feet from your house and that the dirt around your foundation slopes away from your home, not toward it. You can buy mold test kits but they’re considered unreliable by the experts. If you see a small bit of mold, mix one-part bleach with 16 parts water. While wearing goggles and gloves, clean up the mold. Then call Day & Night Air for more info on other indoor air quality improvement options.
Can I Test for Mold Myself?
The short answer is, “not really.” If you don’t want to trust your senses, or just want to confirm what you suspect, you may get tempted to consider a home mold test. You can find these at hardware stores, and it’s basically just a little science experiment to watch mold grow in a petri dish. We recommend against these tests because they all tell you the same thing: there is mold in your house.
There are mold spores in the air just about everywhere, which is why the do it yourself mold tests almost always come back positive. The real question has more to do with how much mold is in your indoor air compared to the air right outside of your home. Think about it this way: even if you were somehow able to get 100% of the mold out of your home, your indoor air will become as moldy as the outside air as soon as you open a window or door.
It’s possible to compare the mold levels in your indoor air to the mold levels in the air surrounding your home, but not with a test from a hardware store. To get an accurate understanding of the mold levels in your home, you’ll need to contact a professional. If you can see visible mold or can otherwise tell you have a mold problem, there’s no need to get this test. Just get straight to the part of the process where you contact a company to remove mold from your home.
How to Test for Carbon Monoxide and Radon
Carbon monoxide and radon are both odorless, colorless, and very, very serious. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among people who don’t smoke, though it takes years of exposure for it to hurt you. It can seep from the soil, rocks, or water under your home. The only way to find out if you have it is to run a radon test and be sure you have your HVAC system checked yearly.
Testing for carbon monoxide is easier than testing for radon. You can install carbon monoxide detectors fairly easily, and they’re more than worth the price. Without carbon monoxide detectors, there’s no way to know about the problem until you start experiencing symptoms. Since carbon monoxide can come from appliances like gas dryers, gas furnaces, and gas stoves most homes have at least one appliance that could potentially leak carbon monoxide.
Consider Purchasing An Indoor Air Quality Monitor
If you want to monitor your indoor air quality proactively, you can invest in an air quality monitor. These devices constantly check the indoor air quality and provide feedback about the levels of different pollutants. Indoor air quality monitors test for various particles in the air, and you can find options that test for any or all of the following:
- Chemical Pollutants
- Carbon Monoxide
- Carbon Dioxide
If you’re shopping for an indoor air quality monitor, it’s helpful to know the term “particulate matter.” This includes things like pollen and dust, which is essential because so many air quality problems and breathing problems are associated with particulate matter. Most models have a display on the device itself so you can check the current levels in real-time. You can also check on many of these devices through an app on your phone.
If you get an advanced air quality monitor, you’ll be able to link it with the rest of your smart home devices. When it can communicate with a smart thermostat, your indoor air quality monitor can even help manage the air in your home. You may be able to find an air quality monitor for under $100, but most of the best models cost around $200 and occasionally more.
Work with Day & Night Air for Indoor Air Quality Solutions Today
If improving the indoor air quality in your home or business in the Phoenix area is a priority, then your next call should be to Day & Night Air. Contact us today to learn more about improving your air quality through duct cleaning, Aeroseal, 4-inch filters, air scrubbers, and Trane CleanEfects. We’re happy to discuss your needs and provide you with options for your home.