How to test your indoor air quality at home.
Perhaps you’re prone to headaches or your nose might always be stuffy? Or your child’s asthma may be worse at night or wonder why your lying in bed at night itching? Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
For a while now I’ve wanted to find some sort of service who can test your indoor air quality so I got in touch with Airtopia a company who offer indoor air quality screenings and help educate you on how to make low cost/no cost changes to the way we’re living in our homes to improve our health.
Did you know?
We spend over 90% of our time indoors.
81% of people are at risk of respiratory or dermatological conditions due to their home air.
Indoor air can be up to 50 times more polluted than outside air.
54% of people have experienced mould or condensation in their home.
There are as many as 900 toxins polluting our indoor air.
What should we be looking out for?
VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOC’S)
Aerosol sprays, mattress, cleaning products, disinfectants, air freshener, candles, hair dye, moth repellents, paint on the walls, upholstery fabrics, carpets & can be produced by dry cleaning, cooking, smoking, photocopying, printing from home printer, wood burners, electronic devices and stored paints.
Wallpaper, new bedding, cosmetics, hairspray, laminated floor, engineered wood products & new furniture.
Cooker hob, boiler, open fire & wood burning stone.
How could these pollutants effect you?
High VOC’s can cause red eyes, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, wheezing, skin rashes and allergies.
High Formaldehydes are linked to depression, steaming eyes, dementia, irritated throat, heart palpitations, asthma attacks & bronchitis.
High CO2 may trigger dizziness, confusion, headaches, coughing, changes in lung tissue & sweating.
How is the Airtopia test carried out?
On the day I had an analyst who on arrival asked me to take them through each room so they could set up their equipment and talk me through the process.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - the overall levels of these airborne chemicals.
Moisture/Humidity - the amount of water vapour in the air.
Carbon Dioxide – a gas naturally found in the atmosphere but undesirable at elevated levels.
Formaldehyde - a colourless pungent gas used in building materials and many household products.
Photos will be taken, temperatures will be recorded and weather conditions will also be monitored. All this data is gathered along with your responses to our simple questionnaire, in order to create your personal home report. The results came back within a couple of weeks with a detailed plan of action.
5 top tips to keep your indoor air quality safe
Dry your wet clothes outside on a washing line or on a heat rack.
The water from the clothes has to evaporate out of the fabric, where it turns into moisture in the air. Too much moisture in the air can lead to condensation, which can form on walls, windows, mirrors or any other surfaces which the damp air comes into contact with. This can lead to trapped stale air.
Switch to a natural candle.
Soy candles are made from vegetable oil (soybeans) and paraffin candles are made from petroleum oil. Paraffin is a sludge waste product that fills your home with toxic chemicals contributing to indoor air pollution. Make sure your switching to soy candles made from 100% soy wax essential oils or 100% bees wax. They last longer and don’t produce as much soot.
Buy antique and older furniture where you can.
My VOC’s were quite high due to my kitchen being newly painted and buying new furniture where the upholstery emits formaldehydes. Chronic long term exposure to certain VOC’s can result in liver and kidney damage, cancer and central nervous system damage.
Ventilate your house properly.
Making sure every time you cook you use the extractor fan, check bathroom extractors are woking and open windows to get a good air flow. Houses accumulate carbon dioxide because humans and animals breathe out the gas, which can lead to a build up causing fatigue, headaches and breathing difficulties.
Wash new bedding.
Just like we would wash newborn babies clothes because that brand new box fresh smell of new is formaldehydes so better to get rid of these toxin residues.