Six Ways to Know if Your Indoor Air Has Been Polluted

By: Brian Schutt  |  March 8, 2018

Brian Shutt:  Hey, this is Brian Schutt with Homesense Heating and Cooling. We are back on Facebook Live again, I’m sure you’re excited. Here with Matt Patrick, our comfort consultant and indoor air health specialist, among other things. A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the issues related to humidification and what you can do about that.

We’ve got a new product to talk about that just came through that we’ve been getting a lot of conversations about with our clients, and Matt’s been the one that’s dived deep into it and been using it. So I wanted to dig in a little bit on Facebook today.

So Matt, just jump on in and tell us what we’re working with.

Matt Patrick:  So, it isn’t a product, but it’s actually a tool that we use in our customer’s houses to determine issues with their indoor air that you can’t see. You can smell them. You can feel them, because they make you nauseous or give you headaches, things like that.

It’s called an Air Advice Indoor Air Quality Analyzer. How this works is we put it on in a centrally located room in your house, we plug it in and let this thing run and sample the air in your house for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, it will email me a report, which looks like this.

It will detail there’s six different topics that this thing is testing for. The first one is the volume of particulates in the air. That would be like pet dander, any of your…

Brian:  Dust, allergies

Matt: Yeah, dust exactly, precisely. Chemicals is another one I test for. Chemicals — you kind of think about household chemicals — but it goes a step further than that Brian. It tests for VOC compounds. VOC’s are volatile organic compounds, and those are typically found in new carpet — even older carpet, but the smell and the off put of the chemicals are strong. Freshly painted rooms, it’s like when you walk into new house and it has that new house smell, well those are actually VOC gases in your house. So we will detect those and rate them based on where an acceptable amount is.

The other one is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the gas that you put off when you exhale.

Brian:  Okay

Matt: Commonly found if levels are too high that means your house is too tight, meaning there is not enough air from the outside coming in.

Brian:  Yeah we talked about that when we were talking about humidification, just newer homes being built. More energy efficient, but having the downside that there’s not as much outdoor air getting into the home. So, the same issues that might be related to humidification challenges, is that fair to say that it’s similar to some of the issues that you guys might see when doing a test?

Matt: A stuffy house, typically found in the in-between months here in Indiana, such as the end of March or beginning of April — right before it’s hot outside. Where it’s mild. And you’re not using your furnace or your air conditioner, so the blowers are not running. It’s just kind of stagnant air. That would be a lot to do with carbon dioxide.

The next thing it test for is the temperature inside the home. It lets you know where you have it set on your thermostat, and actually we compare this to see how accurate your current air status is. And we’ll tell you the benefits of setting it at that temperature, whether you need to raise or lower it depending on the quality of the indoor air.

Brian:  Okay.

Matt: Relative humidity is another one that we get a lot of interest in, especially in the winter time — as well as summer. Tut it will show us how dry your house is, especially right now. If you do need a humidifier, this system will actually recommend a humidifier to you, and tell you the benefits of going with a few different options that we kind of covered in our last video.

Brian:  Okay.

Matt: And the last one is the big one in the winter time: carbon monoxide. This is what you see on the news all the time about furnaces off putting carbon monoxide. There’s a lot of false truths to carbon monoxide — we won’t get into those right now — but this will test to see if you have any carbon monoxide. We also look for carbon monoxide detectors in the home, which everybody should have, when we perform this test.

Brian:  Okay, well we didn’t want to take too long, but we wanted to dive a little bit into this. As this is a new tool for us, we’re going to be offering it at no charge. So you can call us up and Matt would come out to do the 30-minute test and give you those six key points of data. And then if there is any issues that you want to dig deeper into, he could talk about sort of how to solve some of those problems.

Again this is, for us, this is a desire to dig a little bit deeper to help our clients and non-clients that are concerned with more than just hot and cold air. As more and more reports come out about indoor air pollution, this is something that we just felt like we needed to invest in, so we’re going to continue this conversation in the coming weeks and months about indoor air health. But please feel free to reach out to us at 317-670-0171 if you have any questions for Matt about this air quality test.

Matt: And I would like to add, so I just did one yesterday— to kind of prove that this is a free offering and free test.

We had a report that came back and it just ended up being seasonal allergies. When the report came across, I was going over it with a client, and it showed that there was no problems whatsoever in this house. So I virtually just shared with them that they replace their filter when they’re supposed to, that it’s just seasonal allergies, continue taking allegra or whatever your allergy medication is. And we went about our way. So it’s just a purely information visit and don’t feel like you’re going to pressured into something.

Brian:  Well that’s the thing like, its a piece of mind tool as much as anything else, with the issues that are out there. I mean without testing it’s like, “Hey, you have a family history of X, go get a blood test see how you’re…”

So this is that air test for your home if you have any concerns or if that’s something that you’ve read about and just want to verify that your home is indeed healthy. So feel free to shoot us some questions, and we’ll take some time to answer those later. In the meantime, thanks for a brief amount of time and, we’ll be back up here in a week or so. Thanks.


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