Blog » Maintaining Indoor Air Quality: On The Spot’s Air Quality Blog Series
While all of New York State was swathed in a haze of wildfire smoke, moved by the apocalyptic orange tinge of the skyline and red-orange glow of the sun, and shaken by our inability to breathe fresh air outdoors, talk of air quality took hold of every conversation. Many of us had never checked the air quality index or knew what the numbers meant before this multi-day incident. But air quality has always been at the heart of what we do at On The Spot Cleaners. Though indoor air quality is what we are primarily concerned with, outdoor air quality impacts the air inside buildings as well. With air quality fresh on our minds, now is as good a time as ever to give you a blog series about maintaining indoor air quality. We are in the business of ensuring clean and healthy environments for our customers with a range of services that improve indoor air quality.
Let’s Talk Indoor Air Quality
Your indoor air quality refers to the condition of the air within your home or office. It can have a direct effect on your health and well-being, as you spend a significant amount of time indoors. Indoor air can be polluted with a variety of contaminants, including allergens, dust, pet dander,
mold spores, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other harmful particulates. These pollutants can lead to a range of health issues, such as allergies, respiratory problems, and even long-term complications. Ensuring good indoor air quality is an essential step in maintaining a healthy living environment.
Common Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality
● Recurring Respiratory Issues - It’s one thing to have a bout of seasonal cold symptoms and another to experience frequent respiratory issues such as coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath that worsen when you are indoors. If going outside improves your symptoms, there is a high likelihood you have poor indoor air quality.
● Lingering Odors - Persistent and unpleasant odors in your home or workplace, even after proper cleaning, can be indicative of indoor air pollution. These odors can arise from mold growth, pet dander, chemical pollutants, or other sources.
● Allergic Reactions - Increased frequency or intensity of allergic reactions, such as sneezing, itchy eyes, or skin irritation when indoors can likely be attributed to poor indoor air quality.
● Visible Mold Growth - The presence of visible mold growth on walls, ceilings, or other surfaces is another sign that points to indoor air pollution. Mold releases spores into the air, lessening the quality of your indoor air.
Testing Indoor Air Quality
Here are a few methods, including a simple sniff test, that can help you evaluate the quality of the air you breathe:
The Sniff Test
We become “nose blind” to our living spaces. But returning home after some time away can make those house smells more potent to our noses. The sniff test involves leaving and coming back into your space to detect any unusual or unpleasant odors in your living or working spaces. If you notice a persistent musty smell or any other strong, unidentifiable odors, it indicates a potential problem with indoor air quality. You may need to have a professional do a proper inspection if you cannot pinpoint what is causing the odor.
Air Quality Monitors
You should already have carbon monoxide detectors in your home. But the newer digital air quality monitors on the market not only can detect both CO2 and radon, but also measure different parameters of indoor air quality, such as particulate matter (PM2.5), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and humidity levels. These devices provide real-time data and can help you identify pollution sources and monitor air quality trends.
Home Test Kits
There are a variety of mold test kits available to consumers. Some use swabs that can give you a quick reading of whether or not you have a mold presence, though it will not tell you what type. Other types of kits involve collecting a sample via an air pump, tape strip, or petri dish and sending it to a lab for professional analysis.
Radon gas is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment. It is a byproduct of the decay of uranium present in soil, rock, and water. To test for radon gas at home, you can use radon testing kits, which are readily available and easy to use. These kits typically involve placing a detector in a designated area of your home for a specified period. The detector then collects data on the radon levels, which can be sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Professional Indoor Air Quality Testing
For a comprehensive assessment of indoor air quality, certified professionals use specialized equipment to measure pollutants, allergens, and other contaminants present in the air. They can provide detailed reports and recommendations for improving indoor air quality. Professional radon testing services provide a comprehensive assessment of radon levels in your home. Professional mold remediators like On The Spot Cleaners will assess the extent of any mold problem and develop a plan to safely and effectively remove the mold.
The Impact of Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution is a significant concern, especially during allergy season in upstate NY. The region experiences high pollen counts, which can enter homes and trigger allergies and respiratory distress. Additionally, dust and mold can thrive in a humid environment, further compromising indoor air quality. If left unchecked, indoor air pollution can have a detrimental effect on your health, causing symptoms like coughing, sneezing, headaches, and fatigue.
Maintenance and Prevention of Indoor Air Pollution
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to indoor air pollution. Regular maintenance of your HVAC system, including filter changes and inspections, can significantly
improve indoor air quality. Keeping your living spaces clean and well-ventilated can also contribute to better indoor air quality. Regular dusting, vacuuming, and mopping can help minimize the buildup of allergens and dust particles. These tasks paired with routine cleaning of those big contributors, air ducts, mold and mildew, carpets, and range hoods, will help maintain a healthy indoor air quality.
Professional Duct Cleaning
One contributing factor to indoor air pollution is your HVAC system's air ducts. Over time, dust, allergens, and other debris can accumulate in the ductwork, circulating throughout your home or office whenever the system is in use. Professional duct cleaning by On The Spot Cleaners can remove these contaminants, improving the overall air quality in your living space. Our expert technicians use advanced equipment and techniques to ensure thorough cleaning, leaving you with cleaner and healthier air to breathe.
Carpets can harbor a multitude of allergens, dust mites, and pet dander, contributing to poor indoor air quality. Regular vacuuming can help to some extent, but it's essential to go beyond the surface. Professional carpet cleaning by On The Spot Cleaners can eliminate deeply embedded pollutants, leaving your carpets fresh, clean, reducing dust, allergens, and indoor air pollutants. Our specialized cleaning methods penetrate the fibers, removing allergens and improving the air quality in your home or office.
Regular Range Hood Cleaning
Range hoods play a crucial role in removing smoke, grease, and other airborne contaminants generated during cooking processes. However, when the hood and its filters become dirty and clogged with grease and debris, they lose their effectiveness in capturing these pollutants. As a result, harmful particles and odors are released back into a kitchen or restaurant's indoor air, leading to poor air quality. This can result in unpleasant odors, respiratory issues, and even potential health hazards. Regular cleaning of commercial range hoods is essential to ensure a clean and healthy environment for everyone inside the establishment.
Mold growth, whether seen or unseen, is a significant contributor to indoor air pollution. Mold spores can become airborne and trigger allergic reactions and respiratory problems. At On The Spot Cleaners, our expert professionals will carefully heed the New York State mold assessment directions to safely remove the mold and restore a healthy indoor environment. By addressing mold problems promptly, you can improve indoor air quality and safeguard your well-being.
It’s important to know your space - if you live in an older home or a more humid or dusty location, you may need to stay more routinely on top of testing and routine preventative measures. On The Spot Cleaners is dedicated to providing professional cleaning services that improve indoor air quality and promote a healthier lifestyle. From thorough duct cleaning to effective carpet cleaning and mold remediation, our team of experts has the knowledge and
experience to tackle indoor air pollutants. Ready to breathe easier? Contact us to find out how On The Spot Cleaners can help improve your indoor air quality.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How often should I have my air ducts cleaned?
Regular air duct cleaning is recommended every 3 to 5 years. However, if you have pets, suffer from allergies, or notice a decline in indoor air quality, it may be beneficial to have your air ducts cleaned more frequently.
Can professional carpet cleaning remove pet dander and allergens?
Yes, professional carpet cleaning can effectively remove pet dander, allergens, and other pollutants trapped in your carpets. Our specialized cleaning methods and equipment penetrate deep into the fibers, leaving your carpets fresh, reducing dust, allergens, and indoor air pollutants.
Is mold dangerous to my health?
Mold can have adverse effects on your health, especially for individuals with allergies or respiratory conditions. It's important to address mold issues promptly to prevent further health complications. Our mold remediation services can effectively remove mold and restore a healthy indoor environment:
- How can I maintain good indoor air quality in between professional cleanings? In between professional cleanings, there are several steps you can take to maintain good indoor air quality. Regularly change your HVAC system filters, keep your living spaces clean, dust and vacuum regularly, and ensure proper ventilation by opening windows when weather permits.
- Why should I choose On The Spot Cleaners for my cleaning needs?
On The Spot Cleaners is a trusted and experienced cleaning company with over 15 certifications in cleaning and restoration. We prioritize your health and well-being by providing comprehensive cleaning services that improve indoor air quality. Professional mold remediators like On the Spot Cleaners will review your New York State Mold assessment and work to find solutions to your mold concerns and offer professional remediation and removal processes to improve your indoor air quality.