testing air quality
I live in Ontario Canada in the Niagara region. We live in a 15 year old home with a new variable speed high efficiency furnace. every year around this time as we close up the house for the winter,I start getting terrible headaches. i used to get them when in the basement but now with the furnace fan running more I am getting them throughout the house.I bought a room hepa are cleaner for the bedroom and it seems to help. The headaches diminish when i leave the house and get fresh air. My question is how do i find a company in my area that can test the air quality in my home and point me in the right direction to improving any problems?
Some IAQ tests can look for a cluster of say 40 common irritants, and if one of the 40 is what is bothering you , you have a chance. I would spring for the air test as a last resort.
I would focus on the basement is it damp down there? did you finish it off, and fir the walls
Do you have mechanical ventilation installed, do you get a problem with the windows sweating in the winter
The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.
Carnak is right.
Just another link that might be useful: http://airadvice.com/
Do you have pets in your home?
Kids, carpeting and what type of filtering in your HVAC system?
How often are you changing filters and what do they look like when changing them?
Do not attempt vast projects with
half vast experience and ideas.
Air testing equipment is not sensitive enough to be of value. Formaldehyde and various other Volitile Oraganic Compounds are present in most homes that do not have an air change every 5-6 hours. Much is more practical to provide simple mechanical make-up air ventilation. The attempt of novice techs with crude test equipment costs more than the simple mechanical make-up air venitlation. Most homes get enough fresh during cold, windy weather. During calm weather, most homes do not get enough fresh air to purge indoor pollutants and and renew oxygen. Operating a good bath fan continuously until cold weather arrives could be adequate to provide fresh air. During the cooling season, the natural fresh air infiltration is at the lowest of all seasons. Getting adequate fresh air during times with high outdoor dew points and low cooling loads, requires supplemental dehumidification. The whole house ventilating dehumidifier provides fresh air on a occupancy schedule, filters/blends/circulates and dehumidifies if needed. As the weather gets colder, the fresh air ventilation may not be needed. Regards TB
Originally Posted by fonthillhdtv
Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"
Have same problem in my home, and found it was due to not turning the humidifier up high enough when furnace seldom ran. Closing up the home and turning on the furnace caused humidity to drop, and sinuses started acting up immediately due to the increase in outdoor pollen, and coupled with the lower indoor humidity from turning on the heat with the humidistat set at 35%. Make sure your humidifier is working, even in the late fall and follow the humidity guidlines furnished with your unit. In the fall during milder cooler weather you'll need to set it higher, and lower the setting as temp. drops. Otherwise, your sinuses wil dry up, and cause problems.
Try Air Medics in Ottawa
Not saying that's this is your problem but my ex-neighbor was getting headaches only when at home but his wife wasn't! Went to his doctor but found nothing.
His brother who was getting into the medical field read an article in a trade journal about somebody having the same exact problem. Turned out to be carbon monoxide poisoning because of a bird's nest partially blocking a chimney.
My neighbor found a bird's nest in his chimney also.
My sister gets headaches in her laundry room usless she leaves a window open. It's not CO as I've checked. Something to do with her laundry soap or whatever and/or dryer.
Lots of good answers that are all over the board. You need to start with the basics and work your way in. Have a company come out and check CO, CO2, temp and RH. Those readings should be the 1st things done. If that does not find any issues then would be a test for mold with an air-o-cell cassette. You will have to have at least two. One would be taken outside. Doing both of these should find the most common issues out there. Testing equipment is very sensitive and should be able to find any issue you are having.