June 13, 2024
Why You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing your indoor air quality (IAQ) at least every other year. Some IAQ experts advise even more frequent testing and suggest having a monitor installed to track it daily. Let’s explore the potential pollutants and contaminants that are the reasons you should test your home’s air.


Radon is the top reason the EPA advises IAQ testing every two years. This gas is the top cause of lung cancer in the U.S. among nonsmokers. It can seep up from the earth into your home, and you can’t see it, smell it or taste it. Geological changes can alter whether you’re susceptible, which is why testing just once isn’t good enough. The EPA also suggests scheduling an additional IAQ test after any major home renovation or addition. Those big changes can make you more susceptible as well.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a concern for any household that has fuel-burning appliances. These include appliances that burn natural gas, heating or fuel oil and propane. Gas furnaces are still the most popular way to heat homes in the U.S. Many homes also have gas stoves, dryers and fireplaces. You should have CO detectors in the home and adequate coverage for the appliances you have. Homeowners should also schedule annual service through which a professional inspects and cleans those units. In addition to that, an IAQ test gives you peace of mind that there aren’t any ventilation issues.


Another reason to test your home’s air is to ensure that you’re keeping airborne allergens in check. High allergen levels are a particular concern for people with bad allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions. The common culprits include:

  • Dust
  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander


Another potential airborne allergen that deserves special attention is mold. Mold is a trigger for people with allergies and asthma. It’s also a notable health risk for otherwise healthy people. It can cause allergic symptoms in them and, in some cases, lead to more serious illnesses. The most common way people have mold spores in the home is by overwatering their houseplants. You’re also at increased risk when your relative humidity is above 60%, which the EPA advises avoiding. If you have a substantial mold problem, it’s usually due to an active leak or water damage that went unnoticed.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are common in U.S. homes and quite dangerous. They can cause allergy-like symptoms in the short term, but long-term exposure can lead to liver and kidney damage. A common cause of VOCs is inadequate ventilation when using paints, solvents and so forth. Some furnishings, such as drapes and particle board furniture, can off-gas significant VOCs over an extended period. Many household cleaners and deodorizes are a potential source as well.

Fine Particulate Matter

Large particulate matter includes allergens like dust and pollen. Fine particulate matter is much smaller and what modern science associates with smog and other ambient air pollution. Long-term exposure can cause many different respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Often, if you have high levels of fine particular matter in the home, it’s from an external source. A common solution is a whole-house air purifier with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration.


The presence of lead in U.S. homes is no longer common. That said, it can still be an issue in older homes that have layers of lead paint. As that material breaks down, it can off-gas into the home. It also possible to have airborne lead due to old pipes and contaminated soil under or near the home.


Asbestos is similar to lead in that the material is no longer used for residential purposes. You likely won’t have an asbestos problem in a new home, but you may in an older home. If you have a home built pre-late-1980s, the EPA recommends lead and asbestos testing every other year as well.

Your Local IAQ Experts in Champaign

Bash Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. is proud to help families in Champaign and the surrounding areas breathe easier with our indoor air quality solutions. We specialize in whole-house air purifiers, dehumidifiers and humidifiers. Our HVAC technicians also install, maintain and repair all heating and cooling technologies. Those systems include gas and electric furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioners and ductless mini-splits. We also do our own sheet metal fabrication and can install, repair and upgrade ductwork. Call us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment, or book your appointment online.

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