Air Quality Testing
Healthy Air believes air quality testing is something homeowners should consider, especially if someone in the home has sinus, respiratory issues or other health problems related to air quality. However, an initial simple air screening that includes a particle scan, moisture measurements, humidity and through visual inspection will usually uncover serious air quality issues. An environmentalist experienced in building science can often identify the problem without testing. It is better to invest in a solution or solutions to correct problems before testing. After improvements have been made, testing can then be done to assure the work was done correctly and air quality meets certain standards. Healthy Air USA, Inc. stands out as a leader in identifying issues that create and sustain poor air quality and provide solutions that improve and maintain superior air quality. Call us now for an air-quality screening and assessment. Healthy Air USA, Inc. at 770-205-1710 or contact us at info@HealthyAirUSA.com.
Air Quality Screening and Testing
- Non-viable air sampling – Air O Cells or equivalent, these are the industry standard for air testing and typically used for real estate transactions, insurance claims, and attorneys
- Surface sampling (tape lift, swab, or dust canister) – used to determine if spores from the air have settled onto furniture, or if mold is visible to correlate air samples with a point source of contamination, or what types of spores have settled into carpeting
- ERMI – Environmental Relativeness Mold Index – sample consists of dust from the areas of concern in the home, typically requested by physicians, provides the speciation of the fungi, and has pre-set types of molds that are analyzed, analysis method does not differentiate between whole spores and biomass fragments from fungus, gives the “history” of water releases in a building
- M-Trap – uses same methodology as ERMI but is for an air sample analysis, uses filter instead of glass slide, reduces spore / debris bouncing off the sampling media
- EMMA – tests for mycotoxins in the HVAC filter
VOC Screening and Testing
Healthy Air USA has a screening instrument that screens volatile organic compounds (VOC) – chemicals, usually associated with new construction, off-gassing from new furniture (typically with foam padding or mattresses), can be associated with renovations
- Formaldehyde screening – Healthy Air USA has a screening instrument that screens specifically for formaldehyde and generically for other VOCs, lower limits of the screening tool are 10 parts per billion for formaldehyde and 1 part per million for other
- VOC, instrument is direct read and provides information on-site. If only a specific chemical is requested, there are sampling tubes that can isolate specific chemicals and provide both an approximate concentration and on-site results
- Chemical Laboratory Analysis – sometimes we want to know exactly what is in the air samples can be obtained and submitted for analysis that will identify chemicals, based on standard lists of chemicals associated with air pollution /contamination
- SUMA Canisters – come from the lab under a vacuum and pull air from the ambient environment into them, offers a relatively quick sampling period – usually 15 to 45 minutes
Ozone is a lung irritant; we should minimize our exposure to ozone – ozone is part of the air quality index rating provided daily by the EPA. Healthy Air has a screening tool that provides ozone concentration in parts per billions. It is used for both general air quality assessment and to determine if products installed in an HVAC system are generating ozone. Ozone will react with other chemicals in the air or plastics and generate byproducts that can be harmful to our health.
Air Ion Screening
Ion concentrations are elevated at the ocean and near mountain tops – salt ions and ions generated by UV light – most people feel better in these environments. Healthy Air USA can screen for ions in the air – lets us know if there are enough ions to facilitate better air quality and if our ion polarizers are operating properly
Temperature and Humidity
Fungus needs a certain amount of moisture to grow, not necessarily a water leak, humidity is often all that is needed. We screen the environment to determine if there is enough moisture in the air to support mold to grow – based on grains of moisture per pound of air (gpp) – objective is keeping the absolute moisture below 62 gpp which is a combination of temperature and humidity. General rule of thumb for an average temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit relative humidity should be approximately 43%
Moisture Measurements in Building Materials
Recommend maintaining moisture concentrations in building materials at less than 10 percent. Use both probes and non-invasive moisture meters to determine how much moisture building materials is holding. Will help to determine if moisture content is cause by a leak or simply elevated humidity levels. Moisture will cause wood flooring to cup, warp, or buckle – especially over crawl spaces / unconditioned areas
Particulate concentrations are an indication of overall air quality and filtration performance. We use a direct read instrument that isolates various sizes of particulates in the air, we use this information to assist in determining filtration requirements and exposure to potential allergens – dust, mold spores, insect debris, pet dander, etc.
Looks for energy leaks – if we are losing heat or cooling in our walls, ceilings (building envelope) or ductwork, condensation will form, and we can have intermittent odors / mold growth.
We can assist you in choosing the assessment and or testing that suite your situation. More often than not, a particle scan, moisture measurements and humidity readings accompanied by a thorough visual assessment is all that’s needed to identify problems. Call Healthy Air USA, Inc. at 770-205-1710 or contact us at info@HealthyAirUSA.com.