Indoor air quality has never been a more popular topic than it is this year.
The surprise of the global pandemic and COVID-19’s known impact on lung health has created an urgent need for more education and improved home and workplace air quality resources.
Understanding the why, what, when and how of improving and maintaining indoor air quality is less simple than it appears however.
For instance, is it enough to just buy a better furnace filter? Should you add extras such as an ultraviolet air purifier or HEPA filter? Could you protect your kids by installing a whole-home humidifier during the dry winter season just ahead? Is it time to get your indoor air at home or work tested for toxins?
Get answers to your most urgent indoor air quality questions from qualified HVAC experts at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton.
3 Steps to Assess Indoor Air Quality
The term indoor air quality sounds deceptively simple, however the quality of the air we breathe extends far beyond whether it is oxygen-rich or sweetly scented.
In fact, many of today’s so-called air “fresheners” and odour control products are actually concocted of noxious chemicals that do our lungs zero favours.
Indoor air quality is determined through working through these three key steps:
1. Collect and analyze air samples (indoors, near-outdoors).
There are two major players that contribute to the health (or lack thereof) of your indoor air at home or at work.
The first is the obvious – your indoor air itself.
The quality of your indoor air includes any introduced toxins (incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, smoking or vaping, burning candles or incense, cleaning products etc.) and also the presence of natural gases or toxins (radon, mould, mildew, pollen).
But the quality of your near-outdoor air can also have a major impact on the air you breathe inside your space.
For example, if you live near a major manufacturing or refining sector, the air surrounding your home or business will probably have a higher concentration of potentially toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other gases. With Hamilton being located in the GTA area, these higher concentrations of air pollutants. Are you wondering how to test air quality in your Hamilton home, industrial or commercial location? Contact Clean Air Solutions today!
2. Assess air flow and refresh (ventilation).
Over the last several weeks, local and national news has been full of scary headlines about inadequate indoor air ventilation inside Canadian schools.
If the air inside your living, working or educational space is allowed to get stale, two things occur:
- Oxygen content goes down.
- Present airborne toxins become potentially more impactful and/or harmful.
The more clean, fresh, oxygenated air is flowing into your space, the less harmful the concentration and impact of present airborne toxins, including active viral particles.
In fact, new construction in the Toronto area now requires installation of a heat recovery ventilator, a standalone appliance that could be described as the “lungs” of the building.
Heat recovery ventilators, or HRVs, are continually “breathing” – inhaling fresh clean air and exhaling stale toxic air. Is it time to install a proper air cleaning system within your home? Contact our qualified team of indoor air quality specialists today!
3. Evaluate level of airborne toxin control (filtration and purification).
There are two main methods for addressing toxic indoor air:
It is easy to get the two confused, especially since many indoor air quality manufacturers tend to use the terms interchangeably. However, they describe two different processes.
The main mechanism of filtration is the air filter. Air filtration traps solid organic particulates, quarantining and removing them from the air supply.
Air purification changes the molecular structure of liquid and gaseous particles, rendering them inert and harmless as they move through the air. The main mechanism of purification is short-wave ultraviolet band-C light.
Many homes and workplaces do not have either system in place to handle the toxic load in the indoor air.
(To address a pervasive myth: unless your HVAC system is rated at MERV 17 or higher. your furnace filter is woefully inadequate to the task of filtering out micro-toxins.)
Are you wondering how to check the air quality in your home? Our HVAC specialists at Clean Air Solutions have the knowledge and experience you need to obtain cleaner indoor air for your family.
Why Start With Indoor Air Quality Testing?
You might be wondering why you should start at the beginning with indoor air quality testing when there are only a handful of appliances and systems that can work to improve your indoor air quality.
The reason is because you don’t know which one(s) to use if you don’t know what toxins you are dealing with!
For instance, your home may sit over land with a higher emission of radon gas. Your neighbour’s home might not be similarly affected.
You may not smoke at home, but may work with colleagues who vape or smoke near to or inside the building.
Each space is going to be different. From the location of commercial facilities to areas of high ragweed concentration, the key to cleaning up your individual indoor air quality issues begins with understanding precisely what those issues are.
Then you can use your available budget wisely to add the optimal indoor air quality systems to address your specific concerns.
How Does Indoor Air Quality Testing Work?
Indoor air quality testing is completely silent and unobtrusive. The test runs continuously for 72 hours, taking tiny air samples every 60 seconds and analyzing the toxic load.
At the end of the testing period, the system compiles the results and delivers a comprehensive indoor air quality report that includes recommendations for short-term and longer-term air quality solutions.
You will find out which indoor air quality aids and systems can be of most benefit in cleaning up your indoor air at home or at work.
After your indoor air quality test concludes, you will know if you need a carbon monoxide detector or a radon gas detector in addition to your smoke alarm.
You will also find out if your indoor air is oxygen-poor and you need improved ventilation that a heat recovery ventilator can provide.
And you will discover whether a HEPA filtration system or ultraviolet air purifier will be of most benefit.
Get in Touch With Our Qualified Indoor Air Specialists in Hamilton
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we are considered an essential business and remain open to serve you safely with contact-less options during this difficult time.
Give our indoor air quality specialists a call at 1-905-549-2470 or visit us online.