How to Measure Indoor Air Quality

Discover how to measure indoor air quality and create a healthier environment inside your buildings, it may be having more of an impact on your workforce than you think. The best remedy or preventative measure for this is investing in indoor air quality testing. This will be discussed in greater depth below.

We’re spending increasing amounts of time inside and while most of us are aware of how pollution is impacting our outdoor air quality, indoor air quality is often overlooked. Harmful gases, allergens, chemicals and bacteria can build up indoors so it’s essential to understand how to measure indoor air quality for the safety of those inside the building.

Those suffering from the effects of poor indoor air quality might not show symptoms immediately and levels of harmful pollutants can easily build up unnoticed. This is why it’s important to implement measures to monitor, measure and control the quality of indoor air. In this article, we will find out who can test indoor air quality and how indoor air quality is measured, supplying you with a good basis of knowledge to deal with this matter.

What Affects Indoor Air Quality?

A wide range of substances can affect indoor air quality, including carbon monoxide, bacteria, allergens, mould, radon, asbestos and harmful organic compounds. Many modern buildings are designed to keep heat in so are more tightly sealed than in the past. This often means that ventilation is reduced and pollution levels increase, with a detrimental effect on indoor air quality. The only way to really know if air quality is the root of the problem is through indoor air quality testing. You may be wondering how to measure indoor air quality and what is involved.

How is Indoor Air Quality Measured?

You can measure indoor air quality using a tool known as a VOC sensor, used to quantify the levels of various volatile organic compounds. These sensors can also detect formaldehyde, a chemical emitted by new carpets and ketones, which are found in the breath and can build up in crowded spaces.

Carbon dioxide meters and radon detectors will show you whether the levels of these gases has reached a level that could potentially be harmful. This is the only way to be sure that these gases are having a detrimental impact on the environment, as they can not be detected through the senses, and the damage to health that the presence of these causes is usually gradual.

Who can Test Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality testing is usually performed when someone in the factory, workshop or office is showing signs of ill health that might be caused by pollutants in the atmosphere of the building. With this being said, we would encourage routine indoor air quality testing regardless of staff showing symptoms, so that your workforce’s health does not need to be put at risk. Ideally, IAQ testing should be carried out by professionals, who have the expertise, equipment and access to laboratories where they can detect and measure an extensive range of harmful substances in the air.

How do you Interpret Air Indoor Quality Test Results?

Assessing the primary causes of poor indoor air quality is not always straightforward, as there are usually a number of contributing factors. There are no set standards for IAQ and, when someone is having health problems, the indoor air quality test results are often passed to health agencies to establish what is causing their illness. Air quality testing professionals have the expertise to decipher the results of IAQ testing and can recommend a range of measures to improve the air quality in your building. This means that you are not only able to tackle the problem rapidly, but it will be done effectively too.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

The best way to improve indoor air quality will depend on the test results. However, in many cases, simply providing more ventilation in a building will be effective, as it will allow cleaner and less contaminated air to filter into the building. This can be as straightforward as opening more windows or installing extractor fans, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. This instantly creates a faster exchange of fresh air and will help to prevent mould.

At Air Quality Plan, we are a well-established, professional and reliable company who offer a range of proactive indoor air quality monitoring solutions to suit every sector.

If you are searching for IAQ testing experts who can measure your indoor air quality with the latest VOC and CO sensors, or you would like to find out more about the points raised surrounding how to measure indoor air quality, please get in touch with us today. Give us a call on 01489 667955 or alternatively send an email to

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