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How to Test Indoor Air Quality Accurately

It’s important to learn how to test indoor air quality and do it at least once a week to make sure the air you breathe is pleasant, and to keep your health level in check (i.e. you’re not feeling unwell).

What most people don’t know, however, is there’s a right and wrong way to test your air, no matter what type of testing you’re doing. It all starts with the air sample you breathe in.

You can read below on how to test indoor air.

The Air Sample

There are 3 ways to test Indoor Air Quality:

  1. The Breath Test
  2. The Health Test
  3. Chat with a Building Biologist to have your indoor air quality professionally checked.

To take a straightforward air sample, take a long slow breath in through your nose and out through your mouth and repeat so that you’re becoming aware of your own breath.  Take a deeper breath of the air in the room and fill your lungs right up to collect the sample. Do not take the breath sample near any windows or door openings. If possible, take the sample from the absolute middle of your room.

Now that you’ve taken this sample you can check it yourself.

Using the Breath Test

For indoor air testing, this is my personal favourite.  It’s easy to do and instinctive – much more instantaneous than using the Health Test method because of acute human response when it comes to innate behaviour and sensitivity (respond with sneezing, tickling throat, can’t stop coughing, feeling unwell, ‘gut feeling’ this is not right, sense to move away as far as possible and sensing danger).

Take your air sample and quickly assess how you respond to the breath, how you feel. Hold still for about 5 seconds (taking note of your body’s response). Then match up the body’s sensitivity and behaviour response to the instant symptoms.

There are all different kinds of responses that you may experience, but you really only need to check for instant symptoms and respond by moving away immediately.

Use Breath Test at least once a week in different spots in the room. I like to check my indoor air every other day. And bring other members of your family, or colleagues in your workplace to sample in this space or rooms of the building if you are concerned. And chat about your findings with your friends to have it discussed and check with other friend’s experiences, like mould, fragrances, off-gassing, stagnant materials. Call and discuss with a Building Biologist and have it professionally checked.

Using the Health Test

There are very immediate health responses, known as adverse health effects, just like sneezing, can’t stop coughing, itchy skin or not feeling well. Sneezing is one of the first responses to a small sample of air to check the quality. The more compromised the air, the more adverse the health effect.

Sneezing is the symptom that tests for air inhaled through the nose. It’s instant as the nasal hairs are stimulated and the first line of defence is attacked. The more sneezing, the more adverse the trigger.

With a Health Test, it’s hard to tell how long the sufferer has been exposed for and to what trigger. Make sure you address your symptoms immediately by removing yourself from the room or building to assess the situation at a distance


Building Biologist

I believe you should spend less time figuring out what to do (that is my job) and more time breathing easier, living easier. I cut out all the fluff and confusion to indoor air quality maintenance and strip it down as a Building Biologist. Adverse health effects and effective strategies reduce occupants’ exposure by eliminating and controlling as many sources of pollutants as possible.

I encourage you to have conversations about Quality Indoor Air, ask questions on the Mitey Fresh Facebook page, other people may well be wondering the same thing, and I will do my best to answer them there. Or please call me directly on the land line 02 9986 3432.

Towards healthier living, Carol Parr  ♥

As Principal Consultant to Mitey Fresh since 1996, I have acquired knowledge of adverse health effects at the client’s properties and recommend effective strategies to reduce occupants’ exposure by eliminating and controlling as many sources of pollutants in order to create healthy indoor living environments that are as exposure-free and natural as practically possible.


  • Carol Parr

    We’re glad you’re here. We’re Carol and Tony, founders of one of the longest running Healthy Home Blogs in the world, Mitey Fresh Australia. We’ve been on this journey for the last 25 years and are passionate about helping families sift through health hazards and triggers like allergens, mould, water damage, chemicals and EMFs, to get clarity about what’s toxic and what’s not so they can create a healthy and happy home for their family they love. Each month, people visit this blog seeking focus on the health and wellbeing of their loved ones, sustainable and effective practice tips and guides, to help create and manage healthier indoor spaces, improve the built environment that is pleasing to the senses and support healthy living and nature, every day. Starting this blog was to help change people’s lives, one family at a time, and we can’t wait to share how its allowed us to stand next to you and show you how interpreting these synergies between buildings and the environment they are built in will impact upon the health and well-being of those who occupy them. Find out more about Healthy Homes and what this blog can do for you!

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