Homes Are Airtight yet Dynamic
With a focus on energy efficiency and comfort, today’s homes are becoming more and more airtight. The trade-off for energy savings and efficient insulation is that these homes now trap contaminants and chemicals inside the building. For this reason, IAQ (indoor air quality) requires attention.
Most people believe that homes and their interior conditions are static, but that is the opposite of the truth. The interior of a home is dynamic, with ever-changing conditions based on the residents and the outdoor climate. Acts like cooking, showering, heat adjustments, number of guests, warm spells, cold spells, and more affect the conditions in the home.
Why Dynamic Home Interiors Require Monitoring
Since the interior of the home is prone to change, it requires monitoring to ensure that the air quality is healthy and safe. Indoor air quality tests check for proxies like temperature, humidity, CO2, Radon, particulate matter, pressure, and volatile organic compounds. Monitoring helps detail the conditions inside the home.
These readings are important because they can change dramatically over time. For example, a home might pass a Radon test when new or uninhabited, but with dynamic changes due to occupancy or changing conditions, Radon can reach unsafe levels. Monitoring can catch this.
How to Monitor IAQ Levels Yourself
There are devices that homeowners can purchase to monitor the IAQ levels. These devices are about the size of a standard thermostat and can measure all of the necessary indicators. This data then translates to a computer or tablet for easy tracking over time.
While these devices don’t help the homeowner pinpoint the causes of the issue, they can indicate when the homeowner should call an expert for testing.
With an air quality monitor, Ross demonstrates how a few simple changes can change the air
quality in a home. If interested in testing your home’s air quality, Ross suggests selecting a
monitor with multiple sensors. Some of the most common proxies tracked for indoor air quality
include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, Total VOCs (volatile organic compounds), particulate
matter, temperature, humidity, and radon.