Throughout your home, there could be invisible contaminants that are quietly contributing to air quality problems.


Problems may arise from a number of normal household items, including  cleaners, new carpeting and furniture, room fresheners, or scented candles.


Each area inside your home can potentially have unique sources of air pollution:

  • Bedrooms might have dust mites in bedding, pet dander, fragrances and dry-cleaning.
  • Family rooms might have tobacco smoke, wood stoves and fireplaces, unvented space heaters.
  • Bathrooms might have plumbing leaks, damp flooring and carpeting, excessive moisture due to sub-standard ventilation, insect debris, viruses and bacteria, household cleaners, and air fresheners.
  • Kitchens might have cooking smoke, gas appliances, household cleaning agents, insect debris, viruses and bacteria, garbage pails, and plumbing leaks.
  • Attics might have outdated insulation, old clothing and bedding, asbestos, dust.
  • Garages might have paints and solvents, auto exhaust and gasoline fumes, pesticides and herbicides, carbon monoxide, hobby supplies (like vanishes and glues).
  • Basements might contain radon, plumbing leaks, viruses and bacteria, dust.
  • Fireplaces might have carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, particle allergens, chemical pollutants, and temperature, humidity and air pressure issues.
  • Yards might have pollen, dust, pesticides and herbicides.

in order to know what is really going on in your home, you need to get the air tested. Let us help you. 

At AirAdvice for Homes, we are experts in Indoor Air Quality. We work with a select group of licensed HVAC contractors that we know and trust who are trained in AirAdvice for Homes testing. Have an AirAdvice for Homes test done your home today.

Find an IAQ expert in your area.

Radon is a carcinogenic, odorless, tasteless, and colorless radioactive element that is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.
Elevated levels of radon have been found in every US state, and 1 in 15 American homes.  The EPA recommends homes have no more than 4pCi/L, but there is no safe level of radon in your home.  Any exposure increases lifetime risk of lung cancer.
The good news is most all radon problems can be easily fixed, and levels reduced to below the EPA action level of 4pCi/L, but you cannot predict radon levels in a house based on age of structure, heating system, foundation type, air tightness, style of house, presence of sump systems, cracks, or other features. You have to get tested!
AirAdvice has partnered with Radonova to offer a discounted radon test kit for homeowners. Click below to learn more about their Rapidos Short-Term Radon test kit and to order your own.
Airborne Particles

Many types of particles, such as smoke, pet dander, mold spores, and pollen can trigger asthma found inside the home. In addition, if certain chemicals attached to particles are inhaled on a regular basis, they may cause lung cancer.

Airborne particles include:

  • Allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold and dust. Allergens can cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems and asthma attacks.
  • Biological particles, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. They can cause infectious and non-infectious diseases, such as colds, influenza, and respiratory infections.
  • Toxic particles, such as cigarette smoke, wood smoke, lead dust and asbestos.

AirAdvice indoor air quality tip:

  • Most homes have a number of airborne particles that can trigger asthma and allergies. The sources should be identified and removed to make sure your home’s air is clean and healthy.
Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic creatures that commonly cause allergy symptoms. They are tiny arachnids (similar to spiders) with eight legs that are blind and live indoors. Cleaning cannot totally get rid of dust mites in the home because they latch onto fibers and live deep in pillows, carpets, mattresses, box springs, and upholstery.

A warm, humid environment is ideal for dust mites. Temperatures around 70 degrees F, and relative humidity above 55% is the climate they thrive in. Bedrooms provide the most favorable conditions for dust mites in the home because warm temperatures, pillows, blankets, and mattresses provide them with the perfect environment, and an abundance of food (dead skin particles). Dust mites don’t bite, and do not spread disease, so they are not harmful unless you have allergies, in which case they can aggravate symptoms all year-round. It is actually dust mite droppings that trigger allergies (and asthma), and they are the most common cause of perennial allergy and asthma symptoms.

AirAdvice indoor air quality tips:

It is impossible to eliminate dust mites in the home, but there are some actions you can take to minimize their presence:

  • Wash sheets, blankets, and pillowcases in hot water and dry on high heat once a week.
  • Use plastic, zip-up covers for mattresses, pillows and box springs.
  • Dust mites live in carpets, so install hardwood floors instead will limit their population.
  • Remove clutter in your home. Anything that that collects dust will be a haven to them. Use door mats to remove excess dirt and debris from your shoes before entering the home.
  • Keep humidity between 30% and 50%.
  • Install proper filtration to help remove dust and other particles from the air.

Dust in the home is made up of small particles of plant and animal debris. The EPA says that about 40 pounds of dust are generated each year for every 1500 square feet of living space. Every speck of dust in the home carries about 40,000 dust mites, along with other allergens like dead skin, pet dander, insect parts, mold spores, bacteria, food particles, fabric fibers, and more. The main causes of allergy symptoms in house dust are dust mites and insect (cockroach) debris.

Dust allergy symptoms include itchy, watery eyes, runny or stuffy nose, and sneezing. Dust can also trigger asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. During the allergy season of spring through fall, these symptoms are commonly caused by pollen, and people with hay fever are affected. However, if you suffer from allergy symptoms all year, even during non-allergy season, then you are probably reacting to dust in the home.

AirAdvice indoor air quality tips:

  • Unfortunately even very clean homes will always have some level of dust, but an unkempt home will make dust allergy symptoms worse. Ironically, the very act of cleaning can actually stir up dust which puts more allergens into the air.
  • The two most effective ways to control dust in the home are source removal and proper air filtration. Simple things like using a door mat and vacuuming with a modern vacuum cleaner can be very effective. The installation of a proper filter in your HVAC system will make a huge difference as well.

Mildew in the home is a thin, black (sometimes white) growth on surfaces caused by mold. Mold spores are always present in the air, but the spores that cause mildew growth need moisture and warmth to thrive. Because of this, mildew in the home is commonly found on shower curtains, damp clothes, in crawl spaces, basement draperies and rugs, and in cellars. Mildew can cause considerable damage, and gives off a musty odor.


AirAdvice indoor air quality tips:

  • Any kind of mold can cause allergic reactions, asthma, and respiratory problems to sensitive individuals, so it is important to control the growth of mold and mildew in your home.
  • Use ventilation fans to the outside from the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Vent clothes dryers to the outside.
  • Remove carpeting in basements and bathrooms, and remove any other moldy carpeting.
  • Keep your home clean, especially bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Keep relative humidity between 30% and 50%.
  • Install proper filtration to remove excess airborne particles in the home.

Mold in the home is a microscopic fungus that produces tiny spores to reproduce. These spores float through the air continually, and can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. When mold spores land on wet areas indoors, they begin to grow, and to release more mold spores, and this is how mold in the home propagates.

Any warm, damp areas can attract mold growth. Common areas in your home are bathrooms, showers, drains, basements, cellars, towels, washcloths, closets and attics.

People who suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions should avoid exposure to mold growth. There is no way to get rid of mold in the home, but there are actions you can take to prevent it.

AirAdvice indoor air quality tips:

  • Keep all surfaces in your home clean, especially kitchens and bathrooms. Make sure the showers, bathtubs, and sinks (inside and underneath), are cleaned regularly.
  • Remove carpeting in basements and bathrooms, and remove any other moldy carpeting.
  • Install insulation with a good vapor barrier to prevent the buildup of condensation on or within walls.
  • Replace any water damaged items (carpet, flooring, walls) in the home right away.
  • Keep relative humidity between 30% and 50%.
  • Install proper filtration to remove excess airborne particles in the home.

Many common products around the home (solvents, fragrances and cosmetics, carpeting, furniture, paint, hobby products, cooking, cleaning agents, pesticides, new flooring, tobacco smoke, and car exhaust) emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs, also known as odors ) into the air. Inside your home, these compounds can freely mix together. Individual VOCs are known to be harmful to human health and some are known carcinogens, such as formaldehyde. Introduction of new furnishings can be a major source of VOCs in the home.


AirAdvice indoor air quality tips:

  • Avoid using particleboard, which often contains glues that give off VOCs.
  • Air out dry-cleaned items outside the home.
  • When remodeling, use gypsum, plaster or wood. Avoid materials made of plastic or wood fiber.
  • Use low VOC paints and air out rooms after painting.
  • Avoid using aerosol products and use low VOC cleaners.
  • Use glues and solvents only in a well-ventilated area.
  • Never leave a car, truck, lawnmower or other gasoline-powered machine running in an enclosed space.
  • Store recycling materials out of the home or keep them to a minimum when stored indoors.
  • Make sure the air intake for your home’s heating and cooling system is well above ground and upwind of local pollution sources.

Pet dander in the home is a very common allergy trigger. Over 70% of households in the U.S. have a cat or dog, and 10% – 15% of the population is allergic to animals. About a third of people that are allergic to cats live with at least one!

Pet dander in the home comes from dead skin flakes that the pet sheds, and is the primary cause of pet related allergies. While the length of a pet’s hair does not affect how much dander it produces, longer hair can attract other indoor allergens like pollen, mold spores, dust, and others. The more indoor allergens there are in your home environment, the worse allergy and asthma symptoms can be.


AirAdvice indoor air quality tips: Short of finding a new home for your pet, there are some things you can do to minimize your exposure to pet dander in the home:

  • Wash pets regularly.
  • Wash hands after handling pets.
  • Keep pets outdoors, if practical.
  • Limit exposure to, or replace, materials that attract pet dander and other allergens: cloth curtains, carpets, fibrous furniture, etc.
  • Most importantly, install proper filtration, and possibly ventilation.
Carbon Monoxide

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 1,000 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning and thousands end up in emergency rooms. Because CO is odorless and colorless, and symptoms can look like common illnesses, the effects may not be recognized until it is too late.

AirAdvice indoor air quality tips:

  • Have central air handling systems, including furnaces, flues, and chimneys, inspected and repaired annually. Even new furnaces are susceptible to damage and require regular maintenance.
  • Keep gas appliances, heaters, fireplaces, wood burning stoves, barbecues in good working order and ventilate them outside the home.
  • Make sure wood burning stove doors fit tightly. Open flues when fireplaces are in use.
  • Don’t idle cars inside an attached garage and prevent car exhaust from entering the home.
  • Install a CO detector on each floor of the home. Choose a model that can measure low levels of CO.
Dry Air

There are a few factors that can contribute to the air in your home being too dry:

  • The type of heating used
  • Ventilation
  • Overuse of air conditioning


AirAdvice indoor air quality tip:

  • In winter, use humidifiers to raise relative humidity. One of the major causes of respiratory infection is lack of humidity during cold weather.
Hot and Cold Spots

The human body has its own heating system, which generates more heat than it needs. Our bodily heat surplus is continually emitted into the surrounding air. Thus, the real purpose of any home heating system is simply to keep our bodies at a comfortable level and control the amount of heat we emit. But sometimes the temperature in your house can vary between floors or from room to room. You might notice that some rooms are cold and some are hot. This makes us feel uncomfortable in general, but also affects our home air quality and energy costs.

You may have a problem with temperature balance if you notice that:

  • Certain areas are always too cold or too hot
  • Second floor rooms may be too hot in the summer
  • Basement rooms are too cold
  • Your home office you are uncomfortable
  • Heat from the sun is making one side of your house uncomfortably warmer

AirAdvice indoor air quality tips:

  • Use ceiling fans to help increase circulation
  • Check that vents are unobstructed by furniture or decorations
  • Make sure that your heating and cooling system is working properly
Humid Air

It’s a known fact that the human body tends to feel most comfortable at a relative humidity of about 45%. But what can you do when the environment in your home feels “sticky” and you just can’t cool off? When relative humidity levels rise above the 45% mark, the human body has trouble cooling down. Our natural system of sweating to cool the body is counteracted because higher levels of humidity prevent its evaporation from the skin.

Not only are you feeling uncomfortable when humidity levels are greater than 55% but your home can become the perfect haven for mold, mildew, bacteria, fungi, and dust mites. Moreover, these pollutants can have adverse health effects.

AirAdvice indoor air quality tips:

  • In summer, use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels.
  • Check for leaks in your home’s plumbing. Even slow leaks can raise humidity
    levels in the home.

Most of you have heard of secondhand smoke, also known as Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). You know it as the smoke exhaled by smokers. But there is also the smoke that is given off from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe which contaminates air around it. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are over 4,000 substances in secondhand smoke of which as many as 250 are toxic, and 50 of those are cancer-causing (carcinogenic). The EPA has determined that there are an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year caused by exposure to secondhand smoke and increased risk of heart disease.Children are especially susceptible to secondhand smoke because their lungs are still developing; they breathe much faster than adults do, and they do not have any control over their indoor environment. Secondhand smoke can increase:

  • New cases of asthma in kids who have not previously shown symptoms,
  • Asthma attacks, and
  • The severity of asthma attacks in children that currently have the disease. The risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) The chance that children will develop middle ear infections The risk of developing lower respiratory tract infections like bronchitis and pneumonia in children younger than six years old

AirAdvice indoor air quality tip:

  • If you do smoke, move it outside to improve the quality of air inside your home. Avoid smoking near doors and windows.
Stuffy Air

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the fourth most common gas on the planet and is released with every breath we exhale. CO2 is also a byproduct of the burning of wood, gasoline, oil, kerosene, natural gas, and charcoal. When poor ventilation is a problem in your home, you might have a buildup of particles and harmful gases. Among those is carbon monoxide that might affect your health and safety.  If your home has poor ventilation, the air inside can have increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2). While these levels of CO2 are rarely a safety problem, it can make the air in your home feel stale, stagnant and stuffy. If you or someone in your family suffers from continued headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, and even nausea, it could be an indicator of high concentrations of CO2 in your home.

AirAdvice indoor air quality tips:

  • Make sure each fuel-burning device, such as a fireplace or furnace, is vented separately.
  • Verify that each exhaust fan is operational and properly vented to the outdoors rather than to the attic or crawlspace.
  • Make use of ventilation fans that are installed in your kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Vent your dryer to the outside.
  • Check that outdoor air inlets are located away from pollutant sources.
  • Consider adding an Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) or Heating Recovery Ventilation (HRV) unit to your heating & cooling system.