April 14, 2023

HVAC in St. Louis, MO

How Much Is an IAQ Test for a Home?

Indoor air pollution can be five times as high as outdoor air pollution. A big reason behind that is the fact that indoor air doesn’t have anywhere to go naturally like outdoor air can. Most Americans spend nearly 21 hours a day indoors, and a lot of that is at home. Indoor air quality, also known as IAQ, is important. You can have it tested so you know what’s going on inside your home, but you might also wonder how much an at-home IAQ test is going to cost you.

IAQ Residential Testing Costs

The average basic indoor air quality test conducted by a professional will run you approximately $422. However, professional tests often range from $285 to $563 for basic testing alone. Two factors that drive up the cost of testing include your home size and how sophisticated the evaluation is. Comprehensive IAQ testing can easily hit $1,000 based on the specific pollutants or problems that you are having testing done for. Basic testing might miss several pollutants, and you might have to request specific add-ons to detect certain pollutants.

Warning Signs of Poor IAQ

If anyone in your home is coughing or has difficulty breathing, then that might be a symptom of poor air quality. When your home lacks adequate ventilation, the concentration levels of potentially harmful particles increases, lowering indoor air quality.

Unpleasant odors are more likely to happen in stagnant air, and that can come from several different sources. Dust, mold, pollen, and chemical contaminants might all produce these odors. Simple duct cleaning might be warranted, but you need to know if that will help or not. Most smells shouldn’t be around more than a moment or two since routine ventilation carries them off.

Allergic reactions and other cold-like symptoms should not always be interpreted as signs of poor indoor air quality. Seasonal swings, such as hay fever season, can be responsible for this, but indoor air contaminants can also be a pressing issue that makes human bodies react. If nasal or throat irritation and watery eyes are also happening outside of times of locally high pollen, then indoor air quality might be an issue.

Does your home have any hot spots or cold spots in certain areas? These might be signs that your air isn’t flowing throughout the home consistently. Fluid leaks, dirty air filters, and blocked vents or registers might contribute to these. If your HVAC isn’t properly sized for your home, then that’s another reason that circulation might not be enough to prevent poor indoor air quality from building up over time.

Dry or irritated skin is another symptom of interior air pollution. Redness and rashes might be just because of the presence of too many pollutants in the air around you.

Nausea and headaches that seem to linger without explanation might also be due to something in your air. Cleaning products and pesticides might have chemicals that are impacting you. Be sure to check the ingredients on any household cleaners that you use to make sure that no one in your home is allergic to any of them. Depending on the power source for your HVAC system (electric or gas), it’s also important that you monitor the fumes that your system emits.

Accumulations of dust can become noticeable around vents and air filters, and they signal high pollution levels in your home. Address these as quickly as you can. Routine cleaning can do a lot, even if it’s just feather dusting several times a week.

The levels of humidity in your home can also have a direct impact on your sleep quality, respiratory system, and overall comfort. While high humidity levels can make the air in your home feel “sticky,” not having enough humidity can leave you with dry skin, dry eyes, and other symptoms. Experts generally recommend that you try to maintain humidity levels of between 30% and 50% in your home. Humidity testing is a standard feature in most indoor air quality tests.

The Benefits of IAQ Testing

When IAQ testing points out specific problems, you can have them addressed by professionals. As a result, you and your family will enjoy better health, a more comfortable home, and other benefits. Anyone in your home who deals with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues can breathe easier, while other family members won’t have to worry about other issues brought about by poor IAQ.

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that improved indoor air quality can boost the energy efficiency of their HVAC system, resulting in lower utility bills. When ventilation issues are addressed, they don’t just make the home healthier and more comfortable but they also help HVAC systems run more efficiently. They’ll need less power to work, and they’ll last a bit longer before they need repairs or replacement.

Is DIY Testing Worth It?

There are plenty of reasons to invest in indoor air quality testing. In addition to the health benefits, improved comfort levels, and boosted energy efficiency, you will also find that a home with high IAQ requires less dusting and other cleaning tasks.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to have an indoor air quality test performed if you’re planning on selling your home, as you can disclose the findings to potential buyers. If you’re looking into buying a home, you may want to consider having the indoor air quality tested if the seller hasn’t done so.

How Often Should You Have IAQ Testing Done?

Generally speaking, you should have IAQ testing done on an annual basis if you have no warning signs or suspicions about problems. Unfortunately, most homeowners only consider indoor air quality analysis when something motivates them to do so. That might be a family member who has developed chronic allergies, but it might also be that they found something that could be a source of pollutants.

A set of complementary tests should give you a broad-spectrum measurement of the current quality of the air inside your home. Your contractor or technician can help you identify any corrective steps to take to deal with any specific issues that are found. Repeat testing every year, when someone gets sick more often than normal, or if there are signs of dust or mold accumulating in your home.

Ensure the Safety of Your Home

It’s a smart move to make sure your home’s indoor air quality is in optimal condition. You should certainly do it if anyone in your home is experiencing any health problems. Poor indoor air quality might be causing the problems, or it might just be making them worse. An IAQ test is also a savvy move if you intend to sell your home, as it might reveal problems that you need to address prior to listing your property on the market. If your home is in the St. Louis area or surrounding communities, then contact us at Scott-Lee Heating Company for professional help. Count on the indoor air quality experts at Scott-Lee Heating Company for heating and cooling needs for residential and commercial clients alike, including new construction, indoor air quality services, ductless mini-splits, geothermal contracting, zoning, and metalwork.