How to Measure Indoor Air Quality
Tracking your symptoms can help you identify your environmental issues and find the solutions that are right for you.
The more clearly you can describe what youre experiencing, the better chance you have of receiving a accurate diagnosis and finding a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle and circumstances.
Common indoor air pollutants include dust, pet dander and hair, mold and mildew, and tobacco and cigarette smoke.
These are all things that you can see in your home or office, but measuring their presence is one of the first steps to fixing an unhealthy environment. Your best bet? seeing a professional cleaner or engineer who has expertise in assessing and cleaning these spaces.
Be sure to track your health alongside your environment.
Its important to keep an eye on how you feel, both physically and emotionally. If you notice that you feel worse when youre in a certain area of your home or office, pay attention to whether theres a correlation between your emotions and what environments make you feel better or worse. The same is true for your family members; if someone feels ill in particular areas of their homes, it may be because they live with a host of allergens and irritants, which can cause additional issues.
Document your symptoms.
You may not think of yourself as a chronic sufferer of indoor air pollution, but many people are sensitive to certain pollutants that can cause dry eyes, stuffy nose, runny nose, itchy skin, or other unpleasant sensations. If you notice any of these symptoms in your houses atmosphere, take notes about when it happens so you can pinpoint the source of the problem.
Know what youre looking for.
Before you take any action, know exactly what youre trying to measure in your home environment. Is this an air quality issue or just normal housekeeping? A common source of confusion is whether to clean your filter regularlyor if it needs to be replaced altogether.
Ask yourself some hard questions.
Do you know how much air quality matters? Household members can ask adults hundreds of questions about indoor environmental health, but its important that you answer one first: What is the air in our home like right now?
Dont wait to get help.
Call for assistance before youre breathing in too much air pollution. If you know your address, call emergency services right away if you are having trouble breathing or experiencing other problems related to poor air quality. Your EMTs will want to hear what you can tell them about your specific situation, including information about how long you have been sick and any family members who may also be affected by the pollutants.