When it comes to poor air quality, many people in Howard County, Maryland, only think about pollution in the outdoor air. What they don’t realize is that the air quality inside their homes can be even more polluted. Poor indoor air quality can lead to a range of health problems, including allergy and asthma symptoms. That’s why it’s critical to have your home’s air quality tested before you move in and on a regular basis afterward. Here’s a look at the top five indoor air quality concerns that proper testing can help diagnose:


No one enjoys experiencing the symptoms of allergies or asthma, and no one wants to come home to a house full of allergens. Testing the air quality inside your home can easily identify any allergens that are present, such as dust mites, pet dander and rodents. When you know which allergens you need to eliminate, a qualified HVAC specialist can help you decide if an indoor air cleaner would benefit you.

There are five basic types of air cleaners that you can install in your home to reduce allergens:

  • Mechanical
  • Electronic
  • Hybrid
  • Gas phase
  • Ozone generators

It’s important to note that the EPA doesn’t recommend the use of ozone generators. A person who’s exposed to high levels of ozone may experience lung issues. Also, ozone generators don’t greatly decrease allergens in the home.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are harmful chemicals that can cause migraines or more serious health issues. If you’re buying a home, it’s especially important to have the air quality tested for VOCs. The goal is to make sure you aren’t moving into a home that the previous owner remodeled using harmful products. An accurate test of your air quality can help detect VOCs so you can determine which steps to take next.


Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that’s harmful to your health and can lead to the development of lung cancer. Proper indoor air quality testing can pinpoint the level of radon present in your home. A DIY testing option involves the use of charcoal canisters; however, professional testing is highly recommended. According to the EPA, a radon level of 1.3 picocuries per liter in the home is average and isn’t harmful to your health. If your home has levels of 4 picocuries per liter or higher, you’ll need to take action.


If you’re moving into an older home, you’ll definitely want to have the indoor air quality tested for asbestos. Commonly used as an effective form of insulation in older homes, asbestos is now known as a hazardous substance that can cause lung cancer. If you’re purchasing a home built before 1980, you should have it tested for asbestos before you close the deal. Asbestos remediation is fairly expensive and is a legitimate reason to continue your search for a different house.


These days, most people know that pesticides can be harmful to a person’s health. However, many people continue to use pesticides to eradicate pests, like termites and mice, from the home. An EPA study found that 75 percent of households have used at least one type of pesticide indoors during the previous year. To eliminate pesticides from your home, you must first know what you’re dealing with. An indoor air quality test can lead you in the right direction.

A professional indoor air quality test only takes about 30 to 45 minutes to perform. No matter the type of residence you are living in, you should schedule air quality testing on a regular basis. Testing is especially important if you’re purchasing a new home and you’re unfamiliar with the types of chemicals that were used indoors beforehand.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of testing the air quality inside your home, contact Coastal Heating & Air today. Contact us at 410-919-0110 for fast and friendly service.

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