You have dedicated a few days to clean your home thoroughly, but still, every time you are in the house, you somehow always seem to be sneezing. Bags of tissues have to be placed strategically around the home because a runny nose has become the norm. Our bodies need oxygen to survive, and since we readily get it from the air surrounding us, we must ensure that its quality is optimal lest we risk falling ill. Sometimes, regardless of how clean the home is, the air quality may remain substandard hence the runny nose and constant sneezing. Instead of reaching for over the counter drugs to treat the reactions, here is a handy guide to home air quality test kits to ensure you breathe in unpolluted air.
What contaminates the indoor air?
There is usually a craze about buying homes built in the ancient times and renovating it, but before closing the deal on that house built before 1978, you should know that it most probably had lead-based paint on the walls. While that should not be cause for alarm, if the paint is peeling, scrapped off, damp or damaged in any other way, you are exposing yourself to lead poisoning. Once lead is airborne and enters the body either by breathing or swallowing its particles, it is fatal in high concentration. In lower concentrations, it can cause kidney, brain, and nervous system damage.
If you like to keep your home spick and span, you might be doing your health injustice unless you ensure proper ventilation. According to Molekule, most disinfectants and paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Therefore, it is no wonder that as soon as you start cleaning, you start experiencing eye irritation, and by the time you are done, you have nausea, dizziness, and headache. Other common pollutants include mold and dust mites, which cause wheezing and trigger asthma. The worst thing about house dust mites is that they still will inhabit your home regardless of how clean it is. Pollen, on the other hand, is common during spring and fall, and having it indoors will have you at risk of contracting hay fever.
What type of home air quality test kit do you need?
According to Second Nature, if you spot mold in your house, you do not need to call a professional or buy a test kit to confirm what you already know. However, if you suspect without any evidence that it could be mold, all you need is a petri dish with potato dextrose. Cover the petri dish and leave it for some time, depending on what the potato dextrose manufacturer specifies. If, after the required time, you find mold growing in the petri dish, then your house is polluted. You should be quick to test for mold if the house has leakage problems, has a musky smell without any visible mold, or you have allergic reactions without understanding why.
Since radon is colorless and odorless, only a test can confirm if your home is polluted. All you need is a container of granular activated charcoal placed in the house to absorb any radon in the air. After about three to seven days, you can seal the container and send it to a lab for analysis. Usually, 1.3 picocuries per liter are not harmful. However, anything above 4 picocuries per liter requires immediate action lest you eventually have lung cancer. You might have seen how people wear badges when dealing with radioactive materials; you will also need a similar badge to record the level of VOCs you are exposed to for 24 hours. The badge is then sent to a lab for analysis so that if the levels are beyond safe, you can take proper action.
What to consider when buying a home air quality test kit
Homedit provides a few guidelines to ensure that you get the right test kit. Before buying, know what you want to test for since most kits test for different pollutants, but a more specified one gives you more accurate results. However, if your home is exposed to different pollutants, then a kit that can test the varied contaminants can be handy. That being said, accuracy is of utmost importance in any test kit since it is your health at risk if you get inaccurate results.
Moreover, you do not want one that will have you waiting for weeks to get the results; the faster you take a sample and have the results, the better. However, you should be careful about the lab you send the sample to since not all laboratories are accredited. An accredited lab gives you the peace of mind that the samples will be properly analyzed.
All the same, regardless of how desperately you need to have your home’s air quality tested, only your wallet decides the kind of test kit you buy. The more comprehensive the kit is, the more expensive it will be; hence you might be forced to limit the number of pollutants you want to be tested. It would be best if you also considered the shipping charges when you send the samples to the lab and how accurate you want the results to be; the higher the accuracy, the deeper you will dig into your pockets.
What happens after getting the results of your home air quality?
Since the main reason for having your home tested was to ensure that your air quality is ideal, having an air purifier should be top of the list. According to MerchDope, besides getting rid of the materials causing the house to be contaminated, you will need to ensure the quality remains at optimum by having a good air purifier to eliminate all kinds of pollutants. The purifiers have an auto mode such that when the pollutants are less, they do not use a lot of power, thus reducing energy bills. They are recommended to thoroughly purify the air in a room several times in an hour, making them a handy tool for those susceptible to asthma or allergies.