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indoor air contaminants

7 Reasons to Consider Indoor Air-Quality Testing

Air isn't as light as it seems. It's pushing on your skin right now with up to 15 pounds of pressure per square inch, a weight so familiar you can't feel it. Your lungs feel it, though, especially when it's bogged down with toxins. And while we tend to think of air pollution as an outdoor threat, it can be even worse inside the buildings where we live and work.

The causes of indoor air pollution vary from region to region, house to house and even room to room. Contaminated air seeps in from outside, but it also wafts up from a smorgasbord of indoor sources like construction materials, consumer products, mold, insects and pets. Poor ventilation can let it accumulate to dangerous levels, a problem that often spikes in fall and winter as we seal up buildings to conserve heat.

Professor to Study Effects of Energy-Efficiency Measures on Indoor Air Quality

BOONE—Weatherization improves a building’s energy efficiency by keeping cold air out in the winter and hot humid air out in the summer. But do these measures affect indoor air quality?

That’s what a team from Appalachian State University plans to find out.

Dr. Susan C. Doll, an assistant professor in building science program in the Department of Technology and Environmental Design, has received a three-year $696,810 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to compare air quality measurements in homes in North Carolina mountain and coastal communities to see if weatherization affects the level of indoor air contaminants.

“One approach for improving energy efficiency is to seal up the buildings so you are not losing conditioned air, but we can’t forget about the people living in these buildings,” Doll said.