But did you know that poor air quality can increase your risk of breathing problems and serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease?
Sick building syndrome (and its residential counterpart, toxic home syndrome) occurs due to air pollution inside a building or home. It can cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, asthma attacks, and personality changes, and long-term exposure can have detrimental effects.
Having the air quality of your home or business tested can quite literally save your life! Read on to learn more about air quality testing and why it’s so important.
What Is Air Quality Testing?
There is no single air quality test for your home or building. Rather, there are several tests that be done. There are tests that you can purchase and perform yourself, or professional companies can do the testing for you.
The following are just a few issues that can be tested:
- Radon: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It enters the home through cracks in walls and floors. Radon exposure can lead to lung cancer.
- Mold: Mold can grow anywhere in a home or building where there is moisture. Mold can cause asthma attacks, trigger allergies, and cause other respiratory problems.
- Volatile organic compounds: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that can be found in many consumer products, such as glue and paint. They can be released even when the product is not in use! Exposure to VOCs can cause headaches, nausea, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. VOCs can also cause damage to the kidneys and liver.
- Combustion pollutants: Carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide are both combustion pollutants that can come from sources such as gas stoves, furnaces, and unventilated use of gas and kerosene heaters. Exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, respiratory problems, and even death.
What Are the Benefits of Air Quality Testing?
An air quality test provides many benefits. It will detect any issues with carbon monoxide, which is incredibly important. Carbon monoxide poisoning killed over 2,200 people from 2010-2015 alone.
Testing air quality can also help identify and thus reduce allergy triggers, such as dust and mold, and pollutants, such as radon. Radon is actually the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers!
Aside from health benefits, air quality testing can lead to reduced energy costs. Testing your HVAC system and ensuring it is running correctly and efficiently will not only improve your air, but it will also lower your energy bill.
What Should You Do After Testing the Air Quality of Your Home?
If you’ve had your air tested, and the results weren’t exactly what you were hoping for, don’t worry! There is plenty that can be done.
First, be sure you’re changing your filters regularly. Make sure your home ventilation systems are working well, including bathroom and kitchen fans.