Indoor Air Audit
What is an Indoor Air Audit?
An indoor air audit is a test that is performed to give the home occupant a snapshot image of the overall health of the circulated breathing air. This is a simple, easy, and effective way to learn more about the quality of the air you and your family breathe on a daily basis. The small device is temporarily placed in a centrally located place in the home and will offer either a quick 30-minute report, or a more detailed and thorough 48-hour report.
Genesis Home Restorations will test for five common contaminants and air quality factors that can lead to health and comfort issues if found at nonideal levels.
Once the test has been completed, Genesis will offer specific recommendations for further testing (if needed) or effective remediation options tailored to your unique situation. We are confident we have enough information to help you fully understand and make recommendations to address the existing issues and return your building to its original healthy condition.
What We Test For
Temperature affects more than just your comfort. It can also influence your performance, sleep quality, and how well your immune system functions to fight off pathogens.
The temperature index is designed to help you maximize occupant comfort and productivity.
Index 1, the optimal index, spans a range of 17-26°C (63-79°F), and ideally 18-25°C (64-77°F).
An indoor temperature above this range can lead to overheating, dehydration, and exhaustion, while far below this range may lead to dry air, a weakened immune system, and overall discomfort. We’ve included the lower temperatures for customers that find colder temperatures more comfortable, energizing, and ideal for better sleep.
While temperature can seem like one of the more subjective air factors, it is important to note that temperature does have a real effect on human health, and directly impacts other factors, such as the volatility of VOCs and the relative humidity.
When there’s too much or too little moisture in your air, it can affect how healthy you feel on a daily basis and aggravate preexisting conditions such as asthma and eczema.
Relative humidity has a significant impact on comfort, respiratory health, and productivity.
Humidity levels between 40-60% are considered healthy, but ideally between 40-50% for peak indoor performance.
This range is recommended especially for those with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory illnesses. Keeping humidity below the upper end of the spectrum can minimize the growth, spread, and survival of mold, viruses, and bacteria. Alternatively, dry air can lead to respiratory issues and the increased likelihood of viral transmission.
Volatile Organic Compounds are emitted by many common building materials, furniture, and cleaning products and can cause both short- and long-term health effects.
VOCs can lead to a wide range of health effects.
Moderate levels of exposure can cause headaches, fatigue, allergic skin reactions, eye and throat irritation, and other symptoms that can affect comfort, concentration, and productivity.
Higher concentrations have been associated with more severe health consequences such as cognitive impairment, overworked liver and kidneys, and even cancer.
It’s important to try to minimize the amount of TVOCs in your environment and maintain levels well below 1,000 parts per billion (ppb) or 1 ppm, but ideally below 100~333 ppb.
Microscopic Particulate Matter
Particulate matter may come from cooking, wildfire smoke, vehicle traffic, and other sources can travel deep into your lungs and increase your vulnerability to infection and disease.
Microscopic particulate matter makes up one of the most common causes of indoor air pollution and allergenic reactions in occupants. Divided into two primary designations, PM2.5 and PM10 (which stand for particulate matter smaller than 2.5 and 10 microns, respectively) consist of all the dust, dirt, and debris that accumulates throughout our homes, both seen and unseen.
Particles that are 2.5 microns in width are of more concern because they are able to permeate membranous tissue and travel deep into the respiratory tract and bloodstream, causing short-term irritation and potential long-term health effects, including respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer. Alternatively, particles that are 10 microns in width primarily irritate the upper respiratory tract, aggravating allergies and asthma, and cause other health concerns.
While both types of particulate matter can have a negative impact on your health, those under 2.5 microns can stay suspended in the air for a significantly longer period and can cause more severe health effects in the long-term.
Keeping fine dust to an absolute minimum is essential for health reasons; however, try to maintain PM2.5 levels well below 35 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³), and ideally below 12-15 µg/m³.
If your home or office lacks good ventilation, carbon dioxide can rise to unhealthy levels and cause headaches, fatigue, problems concentrating, and impaired decision-making.
Carbon Dioxide (CO₂) is an important consideration when it comes to comfort and productivity.
Air with high levels of CO₂ can lead to difficulty concentrating, decreased cognitive ability, and fatigue. It is important to use monitors to measure carbon dioxide because due to higher levels’ affects on our cognitive abilities, it can be easy to miss the early warning signs of fatigue.
Typically, CO₂ levels outdoors are around 400 parts per million (ppm), thus the lowest level achievable indoors is around 400 ppm. Concentrations well below 1000 ppm are considered good, but below 500~600 ppm is ideal for a healthy and productive workspace.
Direct quotes from Awair element. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2021, from https://www.getawair.com/home/element