Most of us are aware that HVAC techs can install a special filtration system designed to purify indoor air. While, you may notice the difference in air quality, you might not know how to test your environment or if you even need to. HVAC professionals can test this for you, however, if you’re not yet ready to take that step─ here are some simple, and affordable solutions.
Believe it or not, you can actually pick up mold testing kits at local hardware stores. What are in these? Usually they contain discs that are used to provide a breeding ground for the mold spores. If you are getting one of these, you more than likely suspect mold based off of what you have seen or smelled. Mold has a very distinctive smell, so more than likely you have smelled it before see it. For example, when you can clearly smell mold, a home testing kit may not be necessary. In this case, you would want a professional IAQ inspection as the most reliable way to find the presence of mold and for them to give you options on your next course of action. Leave the disk out in the area that you suspect, and mold growth may appear over the next week. The color, appearance, and coverage area of the mold on the disc can tell you more about what type of mold you have and how bad the problem is.
Remember, if you do opt for DIY testing, keep in mind that mold occurs naturally and circulates into many homes in trace amounts. Your at-home test will respond to these tiny amounts, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you have a mold problem.
Carbon Monoxide Testing
As many of you know, this is the easiest but most important test of all. Carbon monoxide─ an odorless, tasteless gas─ can kill in minutes when in high concentration. The most concerning thing is that it can originate from something simple, like a broken furnace in the winter. Thankfully, carbon monoxide detectors are affordable and very effective against detecting the lethal gas. You can opt to have them professionally installed and wired into your home, or you can plug them into your wall─ with a backup battery, of course, to play it safe. You should install one of these on every floor of your home, and test them when you do your biannual smoke detector maintenance.
Whichever route you decide to take (be it conducting your own IAQ tests, or having a pro install it) remember that you can always reach out to your local HVAC experts for professional testing and high-tech air quality solutions.