Residential Indoor Air Quality Testing
The 80/20 Rule
Most living space air infiltration is based on the 80/20 rule – 80% air circulation is, surprisingly, via attics, crawl spaces, garages, basements and walls; the remaining 20% is, typically, via doors and windows. This may seem trivial to most of us, but let’s take a look at the effects of this infiltration from the various sources to get a better understanding of how it could affect our health and comfort for more than the 12 hours a day, 365 days a year we spend inside our homes. The quality of the indoor air we breathe can be summarized as follows:
- Attic air leakage into the home can contain dust, insulation fibres, dust and other unsightly contaminants.
- Basement and crawl space leakages can contain radon gas, mold and mildew.
- Duct, attic stairs, and recessed light fixtures can draw in dust and other contaminants.
- During the winter, air leaking into the house can dry out the house.
- During the summer, warm air adds humidity.
Add to this the age of the house and general wear and tear on the HVAC equipment, and you get a good picture of how the quality of air can affect your general health and/or aggravate a sensitive respiratory system. Additionally, air infiltration is money literally out of the house – higher energy costs and more wear and tear on your HVAC systems.
How do you remedy these issues?
Most contractors will promote a filtration system that attempts to remedy a problem, and one that generates high maintenance costs to you, the homeowner. All Quality Heating & Air, on the other hand, conducts a series of tests that produce measurable results – both from diagnostic tests and estimates on the heating and cooling losses. This also helps educate and allows the consumer to make better decisions when it comes to comfort and health. Some examples of testing that we do are:
- Infiltration tests that provide measured results of air leakage
- Demonstrative duct, supply and return leakages
- Estimate of energy efficiency losses that translate into energy dollars
- Thermal imaging, which provides a map of hot, damp or moisture areas
The full range of tests are objective, non-intrusive, non-invasive, and provide conclusive results. Our job is to educate and help you make the right decision for you and your family when it comes down to Indoor Air Quality – after all, health and comfort are important to all of us.