The Types of Air Quality Testing

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The Types of Air Quality Testing

air quality testing

We may not realize it, but indoor air can actually be more hazardous and damaging to our health than environmental pollutants in the outdoors. In fact, the air in your home or office is likely to be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Since most of our time is spent indoors, it is extremely important to ensure that indoor air quality is tested for potentially hazardous chemicals or particles. There are two primary methods of air quality testing: indoor air quality test kits and professional air quality testing.

Indoor Air Quality Test Kits

Kits that are designed to measure indoor air quality can be used to detect common pollutants including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, mold and bacteria, and radon. Many indoor air quality tests are also designed to detect allergens, like dust mites and pet dander, aeorobiology, such as fungus, fiberglass and dead skin cells, and any formaldehyde or aldehydes present in carpet or wood paneling.
These air quality test kits can be purchased to test specific contaminants or a range of contaminants. It is important to verify that it will work to detect the pollutant you are testing for or that you suspect may be present. Test kits are usually sold based on square footage, so you’ll want to have a good idea of the size of the home or office you are testing in order to ensure that the test will cover the space in its entirety.
Indoor air quality test kits typically range broadly in price depending on how extensive the test is and what kind of area it covers. You could pay as little as $50 or as much as $1,500+ for an indoor test kit. Typically tests that require results to be sent to a lab for analysis are on the higher end of the spectrum, though may yield more thorough results.

Professional Air Quality Testing

For a more complete service than a kit could provide, you can also hire a professional consultant to test the air quality in your home or building. The biggest advantage of working with a firm to improve air quality is that they can also prevent air quality problems from developing based on existing problems in the building.
To get the right consultant for you, you should take a few preliminary steps.

  1. Ensure that you are looking at a list of accredited firms and that the consultant is appropriately credentialed. For instance, the AIHA website has a list of EMLAP (Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation Program) accredited laboratories.
  2. Figure out what services you will be needing based on your own knowledge of the property and visual inspection. It may also be helpful to determine how soon you want the results of your testing, keeping in mind that a faster turnaround time will usually increase the price.
  3. Come up with a budget for your desired work. You can use your research to help you determine how much you are willing to pay for your desired services.

An air quality testing firm may have additional suggestions for appropriate tests or preventative measures to improve indoor air quality. The results of the professional air quality testing may yield some areas for additional work.

Whether you opt for an air quality test kit or professional services, the outcome will be increased health safety and lower energy costs in your indoor spaces. You’ll also benefit from a cleaner smell and increased comfort.

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