Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the quality of air inside buildings that affects the health and comfort of occupants. Poor IAQ can cause health problems, such as respiratory issues, headaches, allergies, and long-term health effects. IAQ assessments are conducted to determine the air quality inside buildings and identify potential hazards that could affect the occupants. How often should you schedule IAQ assessment? The need for action depends on several factors and indications of poor indoor air quality.
What is Indoor Air Quality, and How is it Measured
Air quality pertains to the concentration of fine particles, gases, and other harmful substances in the air. Specifically, indoor air quality relates to the condition of the air confined within a particular space, such as your home.
Your home can be exposed to various pollutants, including car exhaust from the outside and contaminants that originate indoors. For example, a leaking pipe or a humid bathroom can foster mold growth, releasing irritating spores into the air. Additionally, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and dust from dust mites and building materials can decrease indoor air quality. Combustion-related pollutants, such as furnace and fireplace fumes, are frequently found in homes. With numerous biological and chemical pollutants, testing the air in your home is essential.
Schedule IAQ Assessment: Factors That Determine the Frequency of IAQ Assessments
1. Your Location
Your location’s air quality plays a significant role in determining how often you should schedule an IAQ assessment. If you live in an area with high pollution levels, it is important to schedule more frequent assessments. Similarly, if you live in a high-humidity area, you may need to schedule IAQ assessment more to check for mold growth.
2. New Furniture
It may surprise many, but furniture and appliances are responsible for almost 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. New furniture, in particular, can be a significant culprit as it frequently employs materials such as formaldehyde-laden plywood and fabric stain treatments that discharge harmful VOCs.
Whether you’ve upgraded your decor or installed new carpeting, an IAQ test can provide valuable insights into the air quality of your home or office. By analyzing various indoor air pollutants, an IAQ test can help identify any potential health risks and suggest ways to improve your indoor air quality. Placing your new furniture outdoors for the initial week after buying is vital to reduce the risk of VOC exposure. This precautionary measure has the potential to benefit both you and the environment.
3. When Moving
It is crucial to schedule IAQ assessment when relocating to a new residence to ensure that the air you breathe is safe. The previous occupants may have used harsh chemicals, smoked, or had pets that could affect the air quality.
Additionally, the ventilation system may not have been properly maintained, leading to dust and other allergens buildup. An IAQ assessment can help identify any issues with the air quality and provide recommendations for improving it. By scheduling an IAQ assessment when moving to a new home, you can ensure that your family breathes clean and healthy air.
4. Changes to Your Living Environment
Alterations to your living environment can impact Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). For example, if you’ve recently done renovations, it’s important to schedule an assessment to check for harmful chemicals or materials that may have been released during construction. These Structural changes can also cause an increase in dust particles, which may reduce the effectiveness of your HVAC system. Therefore, it’s important to check the quality of your indoor air before settling in to ensure it’s still safe to breathe.
5. Old HVAC
Like any other device, HVAC systems lose efficiency as they age. Although they are designed to last long, replacing them after ten years is generally recommended. However, assessing indoor air quality is important before you rush into overhauling your HVAC system.
Replacing an air conditioning system can be expensive and time-consuming, so it’s best to consult an IAQ technician. In some cases, the system may only require repairs. However, replacing the system may be the best option if indoor air quality is persistently poor.
Choose Shipton’s Heating and Cooling
The frequency of testing indoor air quality may vary depending on your level of discernment. Although there is no fixed schedule for such tests, you can use caution in deciding when to perform them. Schedule your IAQ Assessment with Shipton’s Heating and Cooling to prevent potential health issues. We are available to answer any of your questions regarding your indoor air quality.