The term “IAQ” or Indoor Air Quality has been used to relate to the condition of the indoor environment in which we live and work. Often times this term is used in conjunction with companies trying to sell a device or filtering system to help you improve your indoor air quality.

But what is in my indoor air that creates this “quality” problem? And, more importantly, how do I get my indoor air tested to determine the “quality” of the air I breathe?

In a number of TV commercials that promote various types of air filters they show (graphically) the types of potential airborne contaminants that may be in your air including dust mite feces, bacteria, dust particles, pollen, etc.  These specific particles are usually from less than 1 micron to 10 microns in size so they are invisible to the naked eye. We can see particles that are about 25 microns in size.

In addition to these particles there are also gaseous molecules that are released into the air from things such as household cleaning fluids, appliances, cooking odors and off-gassing from furniture and carpets. All of these particles and gaseous molecules make up the environmental “soup” that affects IAQ.

Testing  for the specific types of particles and gases in a home, office or any environment is not a simple process.  For example, to test for the types and levels of bacteria in an environment requires some special petri dishes and sampling devices. Once the samples are taken, it is then necessary to have these plates incubated at a certain temperature for a certain time and then evaluated for species and quantity by a  trained, degreed scientist.

Testing for particles in the air is even more difficult. This is where the “CSI” type of equipment is required. To ascertain the specific type of particulate requires very expensive equipment and highly trained technicians.

To determine the specific type of gas or odor requires a very expensive ( usually $25K or more) Trace Gas Analyzer and the ability to understand how to use it.

If you used the above referenced testing protocol and equipment and had to pay for the readings and report, you would probably have to spend upwards of $2,500 to $4,000. And that may be low. So, when someone says they can test the air in your house using one simple device and do it for under $200.00, you need to seriously question this process.

Rather than testing the indoor air, we suggest you do two things. First, make sure your home is properly heated and cooled and that you have no condensation on the windows or free moisture in the house. This creates mold and bacteria problems. Second, use the best available air filter technology available to ensure the capture of these small, micron sized particles.

Pure Air Systems offers the finest HEPA based, commercial grade air filtration systems on the market today. In addition, these filtration systems include carbon media for the adsorption of gases and odors. HEPA filters are the most effective means of removing and reducing the levels of harmful airborne particles. For more information on indoor air quality and the HEPA air filtration systems, go to our website at:

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About the Author: Don Musilli

My name is Don Musilli. I started Pure Air Systems in 1985 and then sold it in 2006. I continue to consult for PAS and write their blog and control their Twitter account. I also, on occasion, make changes to the website. The company is now almost 26 years old and has been a major player in offering commercial grade, high performance HEPA and Carbon based filtration systems for the commercial, institutional, industrial and residential markets.

I currently reside in Englewood, Florida where I write blogs and do social media marketing for a number of clients.

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