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Question: What is the best way to have the Indoor Air Quality of a home inspected?

Question by Josephine: What is the best way to have the Indoor Air Quality of a home inspected?
I got very sick from living inside a home, and soon I will have to move back in. Who can inspect the home, including the heating system? Toxic material may have been sucked into the vents from a large suction vent located very low, so the vents may need cleaning. The source of the problem may have been something totally different. Please advise if you can! Thanks.

Best answer:

Answer by DrHenry
You need two different people. You need an HVAC company that specializes in air duct cleaning and you need an industrial hygienist (IH) that will act as your tester and consultant.

Both need to know what the problem was previously and the IH may ask to speak to your physician. Without the info, the IH will be shooting in the dark as to what should be tested. There are thousands of tests and most are not cheap. They can run $ 25-$ 1000 each. A good IH will cost you $ 500 per day. For an example, I charge $ 1000 per day and only work for industrial clients (I’m on the expensive side of most).

The most important thing is knowing what the problem is and knowing from your doctor, what can cause you problems. Test results for the average person may not work for you.

You may wonder about testing it yourself? There are really no ways for the homeowner to do this with any kind of confidence and many of the tests take special equipment.

The first references below give ways to find an expert, the second set is info on IAQ, and the third set contain home and school test kits that can be ordered.

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2 Responses to Question: What is the best way to have the Indoor Air Quality of a home inspected?

  1. Erik E

    Do you know exactly what illness you have? The illness may give a clue about the problem. If it is due to bugs, such as molds, it’s likely the vents. If it’s chemicals, it may be harder to detect. Some walls contain high levels of formaldehydes, this can cause terrible head-aches. Safehomeproducts.com sells a testing device for about 80$ .

  2. John Sol

    I have a friend in a very similar situation, Get a copy of the doctor’s records, don’t trust any party who may be liable when it comes to getting the premises inspected, talk with your neighbours to see if they have had anything similar. Don’t presume the pollution has gone away.

    I am not the litigous type, but… Don’t have anything cleaned without having it chemically analysed first. This illness took a chunk out of your life, sometimes the only way people or institutions learn is by thier mistakes, and you wouldn’t want it happening to anyone else.

    As far as agencies are concerned that would depend on where you are in the world are you.

    Feel free to contact me.

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