You assume that the air inside of your Sacramento home is clean and safe to breathe, but how do you know this to be true? Even the most energy-efficient insulated houses are prone to air quality issues, and the signs may not be obvious. Not only do you need to watch for visible particulates, such as dust, but also gases, microscopic particles, and much more. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to test the indoor air quality of your home. Here are 10 ways to check your indoor air quality.
1. Dust Test
Dust is the most obvious sign that you have an indoor air quality problem in your Sacramento house. When it comes to dust, remember that whatever lands on your furniture is also inhaled when you breathe. Take a look around your residence on cleaning day and see where you notice higher levels or different types of dust.
Do you see pet hair, pieces of pollen, or other substances? How quickly does the dust accumulate in your home? Be sure to also check in the corners and under furniture to look for dust bunnies. Another way to look for excessive dust is by emptying your vacuum cleaner each time you use it. If the canister is one-third or more full, you have a lot of dust and airborne particles in your residence.
2. Physical Symptoms
Airborne particles that we inhale trigger our immune system. Inflammation in the mucous membranes is the first sign of a problem, so you may feel congested, especially after you clean or run your HVAC system. Other signs of poor indoor air quality include:
- Runny nose or sneezing
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Sore throat
- Breathing problems
- Frequent colds or bronchitis
- Itching skin
3. Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon monoxide is one of the most dangerous issues inside of a home. The gas is produced through combustion for heating air and water. Modern appliances are designed to vent the gas outside of your house, but some carbon monoxide may leak into your property if the equipment or flue is not working properly. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, so you cannot detect it on your own.
Installing carbon monoxide monitors on every level of your residence is the best way to keep your family safe. Depending on the floor plan of your Sacramento home, you may want to install additional carbon monoxide detectors in the bedrooms so that you can hear the alarm at night. The experts at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning can help you find the best carbon monoxide detectors for your house.
4. Radon Test
Radon is another gas that is found in Sacramento properties. The gas is a by-product of uranium as it breaks down, and radon is radioactive. While most radon remains in well water and soil, some can come through the flooring of your house. Radon is known to cause lung cancer and other serious health issues. Like carbon monoxide, radon has no color or odor. Detecting the gas requires a special test that you can do yourself, or you can hire a specialist to perform the test.
5. DIY Test Kit
You can find DIY indoor air quality test kits to detect a range of known airborne particles, such as pollen, mold, bacteria, viruses, and dust. The test kits are good for one use, and you send the sample to a lab for analysis. After you get the report, you will understand specific air quality issues in your home and can take steps to remedy the problem. Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning offers several models of air cleaners and purifiers. You can share the report with us, and we will recommend the best options for your household.
6. Air Quality Monitor
Air quality monitors are excellent options for Sacramento homeowners who want to continuously stay abreast of any irritants in their houses. We recommend these types of monitors for people with respiratory issues as well as homes with children, but anyone can benefit from an air quality monitor. The device continuously takes samples from the air and analyzes them for a range of issues, including pollen, mold, humidity, temperature, chemical vapors, and dust. Some models will even keep logs of the results so that you can see how the air quality changes over time.
7. Check Your Filters
The filters in your HVAC system are designed to last three to 12 months. If the filters need to be replaced more often, chances are that you have an indoor air quality problem. One good place to look for the source is inside the ducts, and Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning can help. We offer duct cleaning services to remove dust, debris, pet dander, and other particles that accumulate inside the ductwork. Be sure to keep your old filters so that we can determine what is floating around in the air of your residence.
8. Look for Mold
Mold on hard surfaces is a good sign that you have an indoor air quality problem. The spores enter your house through the HVAC system, doors, and windows and find dark, moist places to grow colonies. Check your bathtub, under the sinks, and other areas where there are water pipes and lines. If you do find mold, you should not remove it yourself. Some types of mold are very dangerous to your health, and even mild cleaning will release the spores into the air that you breathe.
9. Check Fans and Windows
The ceiling fans and windows of your Sacramento home tell a story about the indoor air quality. Turn off your ceiling fans, and check for an accumulation of dust and lint. Also, look at your windows to see if there is any type of film or light dust. If you have desktop or floor fans, be sure to check these, too. If you want to clean the fans, wear a mask to avoid breathing in the particles.
10. Professional Inspection
Identifying and fixing problems with indoor air quality takes time and expertise. If you prefer to have the job done quickly and efficiently, Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning can help. We offer professional air quality inspections for homeowners in Sacramento and the Northern Valley. Our technician will let you know how your property rates for indoor air quality, and we’ll inform you of the specific types of particles that are found during the inspection. We can recommend upgrades to your HVAC filters and products that clean and purify the air.
Indoor Air Quality Experts in Sacramento
Since 1989, Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning has helped homeowners in Sacramento and the Northern Valley find ways to improve their indoor air quality with our professional inspections and high-quality indoor air products. We also offer installation, repair, and maintenance services for residential heating and cooling systems. Our technicians can help with your plumbing needs, including services for hot water heaters, too. Call us today to learn more, and then schedule an appointment with one of our technicians.