Homeowners may rarely think about testing the indoor air quality of their home, perhaps reasoning that keeping windows open means they have all the fresh, healthy air they need. However, there are times when you may be suffering from poor air quality even to the point of endangering your health or that of your family. Never assume that because you cannot smell anything odd then the air in your home is clean, but note when you may need to have your home’s air quality tested.
1. After any type of gas leak
If your furnace, hot water heater, or propane tank was leaking, plugging the leak or replacing the appliance and opening windows may not be enough to get all the gas or propane out of your home. Even if you don’t smell the gas, it can still be lingering inside. Consider how you can often get accustomed to certain smells; you may not smell the gas or propane and assume it’s gone, but instead have simply gone “nose blind” to its odor. After any such leak and repair, have the air quality tested so you know your home is safe or if it needs added and continued ventilation.
2. After any natural disaster
Don’t rely on your city or another municipality to tell you that the air is safe after any type of natural disaster, oil spill, chemical spill, fire and the like. Residual chemicals from these types of disasters may linger in the air for days if not weeks and even months after such an accident, and you can easily breathe in these fumes. Your home may need an air purifier after such an event, or you may find that certain chemicals have settled in your home and may be causing you health concerns. You may want to change out curtains and other upholstered items in your home to keep the air clean and safe.
3. If someone has unchecked breathing disorders
There can be a number of reasons why someone in your family has asthma, shortness of breath, and the like, but if you cannot pinpoint the cause because of a smoker in the house or another reason, it’s good to have the air quality checked. A family member may be more sensitive to dust, mold and other allergens, and pollutants or chemicals that your lungs can withstand may be bothersome to children or the elderly. While your doctor is the best person to provide an accurate diagnosis, an air quality service’s tests can tell you if someone’s persistent breathing disorder or cough is due to irritants in the air.