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EPA Guidelines for Air Quality Tests during Home Inspections

Indoor air quality can be worse than outdoor air.

Problems arise from moisture, insects, pets, appliances, radon, materials in household products and furnishings and smoke.

Effects range from minor annoyances to major health risks.

Remedies include proper ventilation, cleaning, moisture control, inspections and following manufactures directions when using appliances and products.

Many homes are built or remodeled more tightly without regard to proper fresh air transfer.

Signs of poor air quality are:

  • Unusual or noticeable odor
  • Stale or stuffy air
  • Noticeable lack of air movement
  • Excessive humidity
  • Presence of molds and mildew
  • Health reaction after remodeling, weatherizing, using new furniture, using household or hobby products or moving into a new home

Common Sources:

  • Moisture and biological pollutants such as mold, mildew, dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches, high humidity levels, inadequate ventilation and poorly maintained humidifiers and air conditioners.
  • Combustion products including carbon monoxide from unvented fossil fuel heaters, unvented gas stoves and ovens and back drafting from furnaces and water heaters.
  • Formaldehyde from durable press draperies and other textiles, particle board from cabinets and furniture framing and adhesives.
  • Radon
  • VOC’s released from paints, solvents, dry cleaned clothing. Aerosol sprays, air fresheners and fabric additives used in carpeting and furniture.
  • Asbestos found in older homes in insulation, fire retardants, acoustical material and floor tiles.
  • Lead from lead based paint dust. 
  • Dirty or faulty central heating or air conditioning equipment.
  • Unvented combustion air sources for fossil fuel appliances.
  • Damaged flue pipes or chimneys

Air Quality Information


Rye, NH 03870
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