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Air Quality Testing and Odours

Posted in Air Quality, on June 15, 2015

It’s that time of year again...summer! The warmer temperatures and the sun shine is finally here! We’ve all endured a very cold winter and not so great spring. Time to crank up the air conditioning systems.

As we start to close up our homes, we could begin to smell odours. Many of our clients report having odour issues at this time of year. Usually when the A/C is started odour complaints start as well. Some clients report sweet or musty odours coming from the heating and cooling systems or from the vents.

The source of these odours can be several and they can also be intermittent. Some odours are persistent but vary in intensity and some odours are detected only on certain days for short periods of time and some for long periods of time. The strength of the odour and the nature or type of odour is not a good indicator of severity. In other words, the indoor air quality problem can not necessarily be defined by how strong the odour or scent is perceived.

A good example is a hockey or gym bag that has damp clothing left inside for a few days. When opening these bags you will be hit with a very strong and somewhat repulsive odour. However, from a biological perspective, there is not much activity and usually very little risk to health. You could have a very strong odour and the air quality issue is a small one. You could also have a very weak odour or no odour at all and have a significant air quality problem. You air quality issues can also be localized to one specific area of the home or office or be wide spread.

It may be beneficial to have a comprehensive air quality assessment or air quality test performed of your home or office. This will determine if you have poor indoor air quality or good indoor air. In most cases we will test for airborne dust or particle issues, chemicals or gasses coming from contents and furniture as well as sewer gases, ventilation, CO, CO2, moisture and mold.

Mold growth can be an indicator of a hidden mold growth issue inside your walls or under flooring. Mold can hide inside insulation , on framing or on the paper backing of you drywall. You do not necessarily have to have had a flood. Chronic condensation issued on windows can lead to mold growth inside wall cavities. It is important that you have a qualified and independent assessment performed of you home and office to obtain the right recommendations.

Companies that sell equipment such as duct cleaning or air filtration devices may be trying to fit your issues into their products whether they will be the cure or not. We have seen numerous instances where a HEPA filters was sold to a homeowner with a mold growth issue. A HEPA air filter will not address the underlying cause of the mold growth issue and will likely do very little in either preventing or reducing allergic reactions or health issues.

Call us today for a comprehensive, professional and independent indoor air quality test of your home or office.

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