No matter how clean you believe your home to be, it’s more than likely full of indoor air pollutants. It’s a sad reality that the air we breathe indoors is contaminated. Likely pollutants in your living space include dust, pollen, pet dander, organic chemicals and more. Factors like pets in the home, number of occupants, climate, location and other environmental aspects all affect indoor pollution. This is one of the main reasons it’s crucial to monitor indoor air quality.
At its simplest, that means having a general awareness that the air you breathe indoors can be two to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. When aware, you’re more likely to consider poor IAQ as the cause of your allergies or insomnia. And when you start to recognize all the ways poor indoor air quality is impacting your physical health, wellbeing and home quality … you’ll choose adjustments that create a healthier space. Another easy way to monitor indoor air quality is to invest in an indoor air quality monitor. The main benefit of using a monitor? It’s ease of use. With a greater need and interest in understanding indoor health than ever before, find out what monitoring indoor air quality can do for your home.
Why Should You Monitor Indoor Air Quality?
First and foremost–why is monitoring indoor air quality even necessary, let alone important? Indoor air quality matters because indoor air pollution can have a serious and negative impact on both your health and your home’s condition. Indoor pollutants are varied and can be found throughout the home. From pet dander to dust to mold growth, your home is bound to suffer from some level of indoor pollution, regardless of how often you clean. It’s also difficult to assume every source of air pollution in your home as they vary space to space. That’s one of the many benefits of monitoring indoor air quality. It’s specific to your space.
While you cannot see the indoor air pollutants circulating around you, they are very much there. You might even experience poor indoor air quality symptoms without knowing it was to blame. Poor IAQ can cause a range of problems from worsening allergies to developing respiratory conditions. To combat both the potential immediate and long-term effects of poor indoor air quality, professionals recommend IAQ control solutions. Coupled with better healthy home habits, homeowners truly notice a difference when they intervene and intentionally improve air quality. Of course, to do so, requires monitoring air quality.
Other homeowners have more specific motivations. For those that live in a region prone to wildfires, indoor air quality monitors help determine how smoke levels are affecting the home. If you or a family member is sick when in the home, but the symptoms go away when you leave (AKA sick building syndrome) it’s helpful to know which pollutant levels are too high. Any one or combination of these factors are common reasons we suggest to monitor indoor air quality.
How Do You Monitor Indoor Air Quality?
Regardless of personal motivations for monitoring air quality, there are a couple easy methods to do so. But first, we suggest to simply take note of your health, symptoms and happenings in the home. We wouldn’t say this is monitoring indoor air quality, as much as it taking interest in your space’s air. Having an awareness of what to watch out for like mold growth due to high humidity, worsening allergies because of poor ventilation or illness caused by an excess of VOCs is important. Truly noticing how your indoor space is suffering, what habits or conditions impact the space and tracking physical symptoms is a necessary first step. Trust us, once you notice the many ways poor indoor air quality is affecting you, you’ll understand the importance of IAQ.
There are two types of “official” methods to monitor indoor air quality. One evaluates indoor air quality by taking a sample of the pollutants present at a specific time. Such as indoor air quality assessments conducted by a professional or contractor. It provides a snapshot of the likely issues. The other way to monitor indoor air quality is in real-time, through continuous air quality measurements. This is achieved using a real-time monitor with sensors that measure specific indoor air pollutant levels throughout the day. This always-on device is testing, tracking and reporting indoor pollution levels. Exactly what the monitor tracks will depend on the specific model.
Do Home Air Quality Monitors Work?
Yes! We know that most homeowners are unaware of these products, especially considering indoor air quality is not a well-known topic. Nevertheless, home air quality monitors truly work well and are an easy healthy home investment.
The specifics of what an indoor air quality monitor measures will vary model to model. We suggest opting for home air quality monitors that measure both particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Particulate matter is particle pollution of a certain size floating through the air. AKA pesky indoor air pollutants. These can be made up of a number of components, chemicals and organic material. VOCs are gases emitted from a variety of chemicals. Particulate and VOC measurements are really what you want to have a handle on in the home. Most monitors also track air flow, pressure, temperature and humidity levels. The more advanced models can send data and information directly to a smartphone or tablet. Most monitor systems are also fairly cheap, especially in the world of smart home technology and wellness upgrades.
Recent technology upgrades means that certain models even estimate your home’s air filters’ lifespans. This HAVEN model also provides monthly summary reports and alerts when a pollutant level spikes to help identify possible sources or issues. IAQ monitors like the HAVEN system provide more in-depth information because they install directly into your home’s HVAC system. It is important to note that their placement in the actual system ductwork will require a central-forced air system. Assuming your home has central air, an in-duct indoor air quality monitor is one of the best systems on the market. IAQ Monitors are truly a low-maintenance, easy-to-use home wellness purchase.
Best Solutions To Track Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
By choosing to actively monitor indoor air quality in your space or investing in an indoor air quality monitor, you’re creating a healthier and safer living environment. Considering the recent trend of using carbon dioxide monitors to measure ventilation quality and indoor air, you are not alone in wanting an air quality monitor. However, why not go beyond the new wave and invest in a system that tracks multiple harmful indoor pollutants? Knowing where, why and what your home air quality suffers from will lead to a healthier and cleaner indoor living space. We can help you find a local IAQ expert to install an in-duct indoor air quality monitor.