Indoor Air Quality - Important Things to Consider When Buying a New House
Posted in Air Quality, on October 02, 2019
Buying a new home is an exciting, important and often slightly overwhelming period of time - between finding your dream home, arranging an inspection, talking with banks, lawyers, and mortgage brokers, the indoor air quality of your new home isn’t likely to make many people’s to do lists. But if an indoor air quality assessment in Toronto didn’t make it onto the list before closing, it’s certainly something that you can - and should - look into after you move in.
Common Air Pollutants at Home
Home air quality testing in Toronto can tell you a lot about the health and wellness of your home. We’re not used to thinking of inanimate structures, like buildings, as ‘alive’, but they are environments - and all environments are affected by things such as weather, pollutants, water, wind, and creatures. Whether those things have a positive or negative effect on you is something that an indoor air quality assessment in Toronto can help determine.
Many homes in the GTA are affected by common air pollutants. Some of these things are chemicals or substances we bring into the home, while others are part of the indoor or outdoor environment. There are three main types of indoor pollutants:
- Biological: Mold, pollen, asbestos, pet dander, dust mites, and bacteria.
- Chemical: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), bleach, solvents, paint, lead, and radon.
- Combustion: Carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke.
These three types can have a serious affect on your health and wellness indoors - some, like tobacco smoke, are well documented, while others, like formaldehyde or toluene based solvents, which are commonly found in household products, are recognized as dangerous to human health, but lack long-term data and study. Indoor air quality testing in Toronto can help to ensure that you and your family will be safe and healthy for years to come in your new home. An indoor air quality test will identify problem areas and the type and quantity of pollutants present in your home, and help identify easy changes that you can make to reduce your risk.
Source Control Before Testing
One step we recommend before having an indoor air quality assessment in Toronto is to control the source of allergens or indoor pollutants. What we mean by this is identifying potential pollutants and mitigating or eliminating them. For example, some sources of indoor air pollution, like asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed to decrease the amount of pollutants present. Source control is often a more cost-effective approach to reducing pollutants than other strategies like increased ventilation, and will allow us to gather better qualitative and quantitative data during indoor air quality testing in Toronto.
How to Perform an Air Quality Test in Your Home
There are a lot of different ways to achieve better indoor air quality in your home, and indoor air quality testing in Toronto can help you identify which changes or modifications you new home may need. There are a few things that you can do on your own to clean up your indoor air quality, some of which include:
- using scent-free products
- replace your furnace filters every 3-4 months
- increase ventilation
- quit smoking or smoke outdoors
With an increase in awareness about indoor air quality, the market for home indoor air testing monitors is booming. These monitors can help detect and alert you to the presence of chemicals, pollutants, or other dangerous airborne substances in your home. While they can be an excellent tool for ongoing monitoring, a professional indoor air quality assessment in Toronto is a better long term investment in both time and money.
During a professional indoor air quality test, the technician will take samples from many rooms in your home - allergens aren’t limited to single spaces, but problems like mold growth may be more prevalent in one area, and multiple tests can help pinpoint the source of the problem. At SafeAir, we send these samples to a third-party testing facility, which results in impartial, science-based results. We help you to interpret these results and will provide you with a full written assessment and, if necessary, suggestions for improvements or remediation - which can be presented to your insurance agent or lawyer.
One thing that many new home buyers don’t realize is that indoor air quality testing in Toronto is something that can take place during their pre-purchase home inspection. This can be an incredible valuable step that can tell you a lot about your potential new home - as well as provide you leverage during your negotiations.
Know When to Call The Experts
The health of your home has a huge affect on the health of you and your family - we spend up to 90% of our time indoors, which makes indoor air quality a huge part of our overall wellness. Regardless of the size, age, location, or features of your new home, an indoor air quality test can give you valuable information and practical tools for improving the air quality of your home.
At SafeAir, we have over fifteen years of experience helping families in Toronto and the GTA improve their dream homes. We specialize exclusively in indoor air quality analysis - we won’t up-sell you on other products or services, and take the health and safety of our clients seriously.
If you have concerns - or are just curious - about the indoor air quality of your home, get in touch! Our indoor air quality assessment in Toronto can help you identify what sort of changes may help you live in a better and safer environment. Call us for more information at 416-414-5690 and speak with a certified indoor air quality professional or request a free consultation online.