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September 13, 2022
Realizing that the air in your home contributes to health issues that you and your family members may be experiencing can be both confusing and alarming. Indoor air quality (IAQ) has become a much larger concern for homeowners, especially in the wake of the global pandemic, leading many here in Northern Illinois to ask the question, “How is indoor air quality assessed, and should I get my home indoor air quality tested?”
In order to better understand how the air in your home can be tested for harmful contaminants, we will also be going over the type of pollutants and particles that can accumulate in your home, the symptoms they can cause, and how to resolve them.
How to Test Indoor Air Quality
Testing methods for the air in your home can vary about as much as a mechanical inspection for a vehicle. Professional indoor air quality testing should not be done in a quick snapshot — in order to get a clear picture of how contaminated a living space is, these types of tests need to be done over time to ensure a comprehensive picture of how the air changes from day to day, hour to hour.
This can be done using a high-tech indoor air quality monitor, left in the home for multiple days to give a reading of some or all of the following:
Volatile organic compounds, and more
This information can be very valuable in locating the cause of some IAQ-related symptoms, like frequent headaches, sinus issues, eye redness and irritation, dry skin, coughing, sneezing, and more. However, solving these issues will take a little more investigating, and it usually boils down to issues in how your home is performing.
How Home Performance Relates to Indoor Air Quality
Knowing what is in your air is important — but knowing how to improve your air is almost more important! The reason your home accumulates contaminants like pollen, dust, mold, chemicals, and carbon monoxide is most often because of weak points or gaps in the barrier between your indoor living space and the unconditioned outdoors. At Assured Insulation, we utilize the following home improvements to reduce indoor air pollution at its source:
The first thing that must be done is to close up the air leaks that exist throughout a home. These leaks and gaps can be large enough to let light through and be visible to the naked eye, or so small that you never even knew they were there. As you can imagine, a hole in your home can allow air to freely infiltrate your breathing air, bringing whatever is outside into your home.
Professional air sealing from Assured Insulation starts with a test that determines the total leakage present in the home, and then we seal them up one by one using an infrared camera. Once complete, we run the same leakage test (a blower door test) to ensure we got all the leaks!
While new insulation may not be the first thing homeowners looking to breathe healthier air in their homes think of, it is extremely important in creating a barrier between indoor and outdoor temperatures. Poor insulation can cause outside temperatures to infiltrate through the materials your home is built with.
Insulation is especially important in areas like the attic and the crawl space, where a home is particularly susceptible to air leaks and the influence of outside temperatures.
Improving IAQ with an Energy Audit
Breathing healthy air in your own home is essential, especially if you and your family members are prone to respiratory allergies and conditions like asthma. If you are looking to get at the cause of poor indoor air quality issues in your Frankfort or Chicagoland South area home, Assured Insulation can help you get started the right way with a home energy audit. An energy audit includes all the assessments required to make air sealing and insulation improvements and will uncover if your home would benefit from other IAQ-improving upgrades like crawl space encapsulation.