How to Determine Indoor Air Quality
Developing an indoor air quality policy can help you identify any areas of your home that may need extra attention when it comes to ventilation.
Your house is full of openingsholes in walls, windows, doors, and even ductwork for heating and cooling. While these holes allow fresh air to flow through your home, they also let pollution in from outside. For example, if theres a construction site down the street, diesel trucks used for moving materials cause massive amounts of dust that gets sucked up into the air you breathe inside your home.
Know where your vents are.
If you have an older HVAC system, it may not be necessary to do an annual inspection. But whether or not youre due for a full service visit, you should know what holes in your ductwork can cause musty smells in your home.
Think about your pets needs.
You should determine what types of indoor air quality testing services your pet needs, especially whether or not theyre sensitive to any chemicals or smells. If you have an elderly dog thats very wary of people, consider taking them to a veterinarian for a confidence boost so they can allow visitors in their home.
Ask yourself if there is a specific area of your house you want to protect.
Before determining what room or space you want to clean, think about why you want to clean it. Is there one particular place that always needs to be addressed first? A room that gets rarely used may not need as much attention.
Consider your households size.
The air in an apartment or small home tends to be much more dry and irritating than that of a larger house, where there is typically greater humidity. If you live in an area with a lot of rain or very low humidity, then consider installing a humidifier.
Calculate the amount of time it would take to develop a plan.
That depends entirely on how many people are in your home and their respective rates of movement. If you have a large family or numerous guests, figure out how long it would take for everyone to get comfortably settled before proceeding with your indoor air quality assessment.
Take advantage of natural light.
When it comes to indoor air quality, more is always better. If you can afford additional lighting in your home, add another lamp or flashlight to your room. Even if you dont use all the lights in your house regularly, exposing them to sunlight helps improve ventilation by helping move air throughout the room.
Use color-coded lights.
In certain areas of your home, like your bedroom or living room, you may want to use color-coded lighting to indicate what function each bulb performs. For example, a blue light can be used for downstairs lighting, while a red light should go in your upstairs hallway. This is a great way to create a defined space in your home and get everyone from your pets to your kids into bed by just looking at a few bulbs!
Create a schedule.
Before you can assess your indoor air quality, you need to know whats normal for your home. Is there a chemical smell? If so, what brings it out? A pet? A childs toy or homework assignment? Figure out what normal smells like in your house and write an emergency plan for dealing with hazardous materials. You also should have contact information for everyone who lives in your home as well as any employees or contractors.