Last Updated on January 13, 2023 by Faiza Murtaza
According to one report, allergies affect up to 50 million Americans each year. In fact, they are the sixth leading cause of illness in the United States!
Maybe your allergies flare up at certain times, causing you to dread the spring and autumn seasons. Or, they might be a constant, year-round source of discomfort. Either way, it’s important to know how to treat them so you can start feeling your best.
One easy step you can take? Learn how to test air quality! When you know what you’re inhaling and exhaling, then you can help improve your conditions and breathe a little easier.
Today, we’re sharing a few simple ways you can conduct this test, and what to do with the results you receive.
Table of Contents
What Does Air Quality Measure?
When we say air quality, what do so we mean? Most of the time, we’re talking about the number of indoor allergens that are around you. To understand what’s going on outside, the most accurate approach is to check the EPA’s Air Quality Index, or AQI.
There are six different levels on the AQI, ranging from green to maroon. A green level means that the air quality is good and that there is little to no risk of air pollution present. On the other hand, a maroon level means that the air quality is hazardous, and conditions have reached the emergency level.
While you may not be able to monitor or control the air outside of your home, you can take action within your walls. It all begins with knowing the main types of allergens to look out for. At home, these include:
- Mold spores
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
Some of these particles are so microscopic that you may not even be able to see them. This is why testing air quality is so important.
Common Air Quality Tests
Have you noticed that your nose is running more lately? Or, does your throat feel a little scratchy?
Seasonal weather changes might not be to blame. Rather, there may be some substances indoors that you need to address. Thankfully, you can do so with a few easy steps.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways to test your indoor air quality.
Use an Indoor Air Quality Monitor
As its name implies, an indoor air quality monitor is a small device that measures the levels of allergens in the air of your home. You can usually find these at your local hardware store at an economical price.
Once you purchase the monitor, you’ll leave it in a central area within your home. It will stay on around the clock, continuously monitoring and reporting on your indoor air quality. You can reference the dashboard to see a real-time reading, and some are designed to sync with your smartphone so you can even check conditions on the go.
In addition to looking for particulates, most models will also identify levels of chemical pollutants, such as carbon monoxide. You can even find some that will keep a close eye on your humidity levels, which can help prevent the formation of mold and mildew.
What should you do if your levels come back high? Consider making changes that can clean your air from the inside out!
For instance, ask your HVAC company if they can install a dehumidifier, install an air ventilation system, or a whole-house filtration device to keep your family safe. If you’re in the greater Orlando area, then you can get more info here on services in your region.
Monitor Chemical Pollutants
If your indoor air quality monitor does not include a gauge for carbon monoxide, then you’ll need to purchase a carbon monoxide sector separately. While you’re shopping, you may also consider investing in a radon gas test.
Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that can lead to lung cancer if you’re exposed to it over a sustained period of time. It forms when uranium decays. Uranium is present in rocks and soil, so most radon gas forms at the foundation of a home.
For this reason, many homeowners choose to install radon monitors in their basements, and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of their homes. Keep in mind that both carbon monoxide and radon are odorless and colorless, and are often called “silent” killers. Without a device that keeps a constant check on these levels, you could be exposed to them unknowingly.
Each monitor will come with specific instructions on how to set up and use your device. Most carbon monoxide detectors are designed to run 24/7, while radon tests follow more of a specific timeframe. If either device alerts you to the presence of chemical pollutants in your home, then contact a professional mitigation company as quickly as possible.
Check Your Allergy Symptoms
You spend so much time in your home that you may begin to associate your allergy symptoms with that property. However, there’s a good chance that the issue lies elsewhere, such as at your office or gym.
Keep a journal and jot down exactly when and where your symptoms begin. Do you find that they worsen as soon as you walk in the door of your home? Or, are you sneezing like crazy during your coffee break in the company kitchen?
If you can pinpoint a specific spot that tends to aggravate your allergies, then consider avoiding that spot. See if your condition improves. If so, then request an indoor air quality test at that location.
Learn How to Test Air Quality With Confidence
It pays to know what’s in your home. If you’re concerned about the quality of the air that you’re breathing, then there are tools and technologies that can help you understand your allergen levels.
Now that you know how to test air quality, you’re one step closer to creating the safe and healthy oasis of your dreams! As you look for more lifestyle advice, we’re here with the trusted guides you need. Check back often for more tips and tricks you can use.