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Old 10-21-2009, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 2,742,825 times
Reputation: 497

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My asthma's kicked up badly since moving to a new home more than a year ago. Mysteriously improved while on vacation, tanked again upon return. I suspect my house, but nothing obvious is wrong.

Anyone know how to do indoor air quality testing? I've tried simple google and it's failing me. Seems there's a zillion people who sell kits, but fewer labs, and you have to send your kit to a lab that handles that kind of test. Shouldn't there be some kind of one-stop-shop for that, where you don't have to play guessing games?

Never done any testing before, aside from having someone else handle a ceiling-asbestos test before we bought the house. Any insight appreciated.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:11 AM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,700 posts, read 11,914,468 times
Reputation: 1912
Contact your local health department, they should be able to direct you to a lab.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,097 posts, read 15,311,225 times
Reputation: 7732
Asbestos will not effect you this way. Some of the things that could effect you this way include mold and or chemical vapors. Some people are effected this way by the chemicals given off by newly cut wood, new carpet, and other items that give off chemical vapors. Mold growth in the walls or the AC system could possibly effect you. If you can afford it, it's a good idea to have a good AC contractor come to your home to inspect and service your system. If you're concerned about viruses and mold growth, ask about a UV light for your AC system. It won't prevent growth in the ducts but it will help to kill viruses and mold in the area of the AC coils. If you have new carpet or wood then you'll just have to regularly air out the home until it's finished giving off it's vapors. The other potential problem may be the outside enviroment where you live. You could be having allergies to plants in the area around your home. These things have a way of getting inside the home. When you went on vacation, you got away from those particular plants.

What type of air filter do you use in your home? I suggest you go to Lowes or Home Depot and try switching to Filtrete Ultra air filter for a few months then switch to a regular grade pleated air filter. Once you install the Filtrete Ultra, try leaving your central air fan in the on position for several hours or a day. The filtrete Ultra is close to HEPA filter. It is a $20 air filter and it will reduce your air flow a bit.
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:48 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
733 posts, read 2,995,920 times
Reputation: 645
Open the windows and air the place out now and then.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:02 AM
 
Location: NC
1,583 posts, read 2,225,965 times
Reputation: 1106
Get a mold expert in to check air quality! BBB usually can assist with finding qualified businesses!
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:16 AM
 
1 posts, read 13,103 times
Reputation: 12
Default Get an AirAdvice IAQ test done in your home

Call a local HVAC contractor and ask about getting a test done in your home they are terrific! Also you can go to the AirAdvice.com and use their contractor locator to find a professional to monitor your air. We did and were very surprised that our chemical levels were the probem. They measure many levels and do the test for several days so you see patterns and really understand what the cause of your problems may be.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn New York
12,588 posts, read 13,224,540 times
Reputation: 14530
Quote:
Originally Posted by windtimber View Post
Open the windows and air the place out now and then.

It is usually the obvious thing like opening a window that people just don't do, for some reason. Also a lot of newer homes don't even have windows in the bathrooms for some un-Godly reason
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:37 AM
 
2,564 posts, read 4,361,223 times
Reputation: 3830
WE were part of a national research on air quality in new homes that are built with energy efficiency as key in construction methodology. The results were an eye opener as air quality, especially during the winter months was horrid. To cut to the meat of it, we now install fresh air intakes on all of our A/C units. This is nothing more than a 6" A/C duct that runs from the return air side to an exterior screened vent. Another thing we noticed in weighing the air in a house was that the pressure drop when the unit would come on didn't change much with the fresh air vent. The air pressure will drop when an air handler comes on as it's compressing the air to move it. This keeps the integrity of the house and sealants in a neutral environment. Our houses and others that are using the fresh air vents have the healthiest air. We no longer see 90+ humidity rates inside the home during the winter. Might want to check with your A/C professional about installing a fresh air vent. It's an easy, low cost fix to poor air quality in a home.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:36 PM
 
198 posts, read 73,012 times
Reputation: 194
We replaced our pillows recently and it made a big difference in our breathing. Our old down pillows seemed nice and comfy with plenty of spring, but then we read about dust mites and the effects they have on pillows and mattresses. Since then we have purchased mite-proof pillow cases and mattress covers from Mission Allergy. Just a thought anyway and it might not be a contributing cause in your case.

I agree that good furnace filters can make a difference, so long as they are changed at recommended intervals. Portable air purifiers available from Target etc can also help during the seasons your windows are closed. But with a new home you may be experiencing problems due to off-gassing of the various building materials, such as OSB and plywood. Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Central Atlantic Region, though consults worldwide
266 posts, read 61,330 times
Reputation: 95
Default All really great ideas.

Recommend doing the simple stuff (i.e. test for mites, dust, and other localized airborn) before moving on to chem vapor issues. Mitigation is evacuating toxic air. That is too say, if source cannot be encapsulate then source emissions need removed from the environment. Fresh air heat/energy recovery ventilators do this well. Local climate data determine the type of unit desired. Energy is too precious to simply evacuate without reclaiming vented energy. Its pretty much an automatic that I use Sterling in my homes. Consider configuring the Sterling unit to replace all exhaust fans. There will be minimal ducting required for the install but fresh will have a whole new meaning.
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