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How can you understand your indoor air quality situation, whether your home is new or not? In this capsule we will help you review your concerns about the health of your loved ones and the different contaminants that can be found inside your home. You won’t need any specialized tools. Your senses and especially your sense of smell will suffer greatly to answer our few questions. Read our article or watch our video and see how air quality problems don’t wait until a house is old to occur.
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Although it is not designed to detect allergies or to determine your sensitivity to different chemical substances, our short questionnaire will give you a brief overview of the concerns and health situation of members of your household. You will also have a good idea of whether you are dealing with biological or chemical type contaminants.
Start by closing all windows and go for a walk of about fifteen minutes. So far it’s not so bad, huh? This little moment of relaxation allows you to literally change air and sharpen your sense of smell. When time is up, go back home and open… your nose!
Inhale deeply a few times then ask yourself the following questions:
- Is there a strange smell when entering the house?
- Did you feel better outside your home than inside?
- Do you feel better in other people’s homes than yours?
- Do you ever feel sick at home?
- Can you associate specific symptoms with particular odors?
- Are they more pronounced in some areas of the house?
- Are they more pronounced at a particular time of day or year?
If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, you may have a problem with your indoor air quality. If you answered no to all of these questions, it might be interesting to ask a friend with a sharper sense of smell to play the game for you.
As soon as you get a yes, you can move on to our second set of questions to determine the nature of the sources of contaminants in your home. No matter the age of your home, answer all the questions, because as we explained in the beginning, a new house is not immune to a problem of air quality.
- Is your house new?
- Is there a “new smell” (a chemical smell similar to a new car smell, new wood, gas, paint, fabric, carpet, etc.)?
- Did you use an exterminator to intervene in your home?
- Have you done or had renovations done recently?
- Did you get new furnishing or decoration items recently?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, your indoor air may contain chemical contaminants.
- Is your house old?
- Is there an “old building smell” (smell of stale air, musty or earthy)?
- Does your dwelling include a crawl space or basement?
- Are you worried that your basement is unhealthy (feeling wet, repugnant or uncomfortable, etc.)?
- Do you know if there were any water infiltrations in the basement at certain times?
If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, there may be biological contaminants that affect the air quality of your home.
Following this exercise, you will have a better idea of whether or not you have an air quality problem and, if so, whether it is chemical or biological. Remember, it doesn’t matter if your house is new or old, if there is a smell of moisture, new, basement or chemical, it may be a sign of a more serious problem…