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A Healthy Air Checklist for Buying a Home

by Alissa Baker on Apr 01, 2024

A Healthy Air Checklist for Buying a Home

Buying a new home is an exciting milestone, but amidst the whirlwind of inspections and negotiations, one crucial aspect often gets overlooked: indoor air quality. The air you breathe within your home can significantly impact your health and well-being. To ensure you’re investing in a healthy living environment, here’s a comprehensive checklist to assess the indoor air quality of a prospective home.

  1. Inspect for Mold and Mildew: Begin by visually inspecting the property for signs of mold or mildew. Check basements, attics, bathrooms, and around windows for any visible growth. Mold can exacerbate respiratory issues and cause allergic reactions, so it’s essential to address any infestations promptly.

  2. Test for Radon: Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can seep into homes through the soil and cause lung cancer. Consider hiring a professional to conduct a radon test to ensure the levels are within safe limits.

  3. Evaluate Ventilation Systems: Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining good indoor air quality. Check that bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are equipped with exhaust fans that vent to the outdoors. Additionally, inspect air vents and ductwork for cleanliness and ensure they are free of debris and mold.

  4. Assess Heating and Cooling Systems: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems play a significant role in indoor air quality. Have the HVAC system inspected to ensure it’s in good working condition, with clean filters and no signs of mold or mildew buildup.

  5. Consider Flooring Materials: Certain flooring materials, such as carpeting, can trap dust, pet dander, and other allergens, contributing to poor indoor air quality. Opt for hard flooring surfaces like hardwood, tile, or laminate, which are easier to clean and maintain.

  6. Check for VOCs: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals emitted from household products like paint, cleaning supplies, and furniture. These compounds can have adverse health effects, so inquire about any recent renovations or additions to the home and research the VOC levels of the materials used.

  7. Inspect for Pest Infestations: Pest infestations not only pose hygiene concerns but can also worsen indoor air quality. Look for signs of pests such as droppings, gnaw marks, or holes in walls and floors. Address any infestations promptly and consider hiring a professional exterminator if necessary.

  8. Test for Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is another common indoor air pollutant found in building materials, furniture, and household products. Consider testing the home for formaldehyde levels, especially if it was recently constructed or renovated.

  9. Consider Outdoor Air Quality: While you may not have control over outdoor air pollution, consider factors such as proximity to industrial facilities, major highways, or agricultural areas, which can impact the quality of outdoor air entering your home.

  10. Consult with Professionals: When in doubt, consult with indoor air quality professionals who can conduct thorough inspections and provide recommendations for improving air quality if needed.

Prioritizing indoor air quality when buying a home is essential for creating a healthy living environment for you and your family. By following this checklist and conducting thorough inspections, you can make an informed decision and ensure that your new home promotes wellness and vitality for years to come.