Top Benefits of Professional Air Quality Testing Services Skip to main content
Birch Heating & Cooling Blog

Top Benefits of Professional Air Quality Testing Services in Asbury, IA

By June 13, 2024June 14th, 2024No Comments
professional air quality testing

Despite efforts to tackle air pollution, one in three Americans, or around 130 million people, still breathe in unhealthy air.

So, does that mean staying indoors is better and safer?

Not all the time, as indoor air quality (IAQ) isn’t always better than outdoor air. In some cases, it can be worse.

The good news is that professional air quality testing can help you determine where the IAQ in your Asbury, IA, home stands.

But why should you even care about your home’s IAQ? How can knowing its status through expert indoor air quality assessment benefit you?

This guide explores the perks of having a professional test your indoor air, so read on. 

Identify Indoor Air Pollutants

Certified air quality testers can help determine whether the air in your Asbury home is safe or unhealthy. Some of the most common pollutants that their home air quality inspection can reveal are:

  • Mold, mildew, and other biological contaminants
  • Indoor particulate matter (PM) 
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) 
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Toxic compounds such as asbestos and radon

Knowing whether you and your loved ones are breathing in those pollutants is crucial, as they can cause adverse health effects. 

Short-term effects include headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and eye and skin irritation. Exposure to poor IAQ may also trigger or exacerbate allergies and asthma. Prolonged exposure to air contaminants like radon and asbestos may even raise one’s risk for lung cancer

Determine Pollutant Sources

Residential air quality testing can help you trace or discover the source of your indoor air pollutants.

For example, suppose the test reveals that your indoor air has high VOC content. In that case, it may be due to household cleaning chemicals, which are some of the most common causes of poor IAQ. Other typical culprits are:

  • Wood preservatives
  • Air fresheners
  • Hobby supplies
  • Carpeting

Another example is if your indoor air has high concentrations of mold, often caused by roof leaks and faulty plumbing components. However, it can also be due to a defective or broken air conditioner. For example, your AC may leak water because of frozen coils, refrigerant issues, an overflowing drain pan, or a clogged condensate drain line.

Regardless of the sources of your indoor air pollutants, knowing what they are lets you take steps to address or correct them. For instance, you can use VOC-free or nontoxic alternatives instead of harsh cleaning chemicals. If you have a mold issue caused by a leaking pipe or AC drain pan, then you can get it fixed by the appropriate contractor. 

Tailored Recommendations for Improving IAQ

After the IAQ assessment, the certified air quality tester will review the test results. Based on their findings, they’ll give you expert advice on improving your home’s IAQ.

Some examples of air pollution control services and methods they may recommend are the following. 

Better Air Filtration

If your HVAC system uses air filters with a low MERV rating, your certified air tester will likely recommend upgrading them.

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values. These ratings range from 1 to 20, and typical residential HVAC systems use filters with a MERV rating of 7 to 12. Developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), this scale tells you how effective an air filter is. 

What HVAC Filters Do

The primary job of HVAC filters is to capture pollutants in the air before they get sucked into your system. The exact type of contaminants they trap depends on their MERV rating.

The higher a filter’s MERV rating, the better it captures particles between 0.3 and 10 microns.

Filters With a 7 to 8 MERV

These filters can remove dirt, dust, lint, sawdust, fibers, mold spores, pollen, and dust mites. They can also filter down to particles between 3 and 10 microns.

Filters With a 9 to 12 MERV

These products can remove the same contaminants listed above. However, they can also control concrete dust, lead dust, coal dust, and legionella. They’re also more effective in filtering smaller particles.

MERV Rating of 13

Then, there are filters with a MERV rating of 13, which ASHRAE says is the best rating for home HVAC filters. They can do what filters with a MERV rating of 7 to 12 can and also capture tobacco smoke, pet dander, insecticide dust, and even car and copier ink fumes. They can even trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. 

Humidity Control

In simple terms, indoor humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air inside your home. You’d want to control it, as it influences the concentration of many indoor air pollutants.

For example, high indoor humidity levels promote mold growth. Conversely, low humidity levels may increase ozone production and certain bacteria and viruses.

So, to help improve your IAQ, certified air testers may recommend using humidifiers or dehumidifiers. If your home’s humidity levels are too low, they may suggest using humidifiers to add moisture to the air. But if they’re high, the experts will recommend using dehumidifiers to remove excess water vapor. 

UV Lights

Certified air testers may also recommend using ultraviolet (UV) lights to improve your IAQ. These products can reduce mold, bacteria, and virus concentrations. HVAC professionals can place them around your home or within your HVAC system.

Fresh Air Ventilators

These products help minimize indoor air contaminants and odors by expelling them outdoors. They also help dilute the levels of pollutants in your home by introducing fresh air from outside. Plus, they can aid with humidity control by removing damp air from your home. 

Schedule Professional Air Quality Testing Today

Professional air quality testing is vital to knowing if the air in your Asbury, IA, home is safe or dangerous. If it’s safe, great! But if it’s unhealthy, then at least you’ll know, and you can take the necessary steps to clean it and make it safer.

The IAQ and HVAC specialists at Birch Heating and Cooling Fireplace and Patio can help you determine the state of your indoor air. We provide professional IAQ assessments and innovative solutions, from air filtration to fresh air ventilators. We’ll use our 20+ years of experience in the HVAC industry to help you create a healthier home environment.

So, contact us today for your IAQ testing! We’ll happily provide you with a free in-home consultation.

(563) 500-2087