Testing indoor air quality

Find out if testing indoor air quality is necessary when you think there might be contaminants in the air.

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Recommendations for testing indoor air quality

We encourage Canadians to test their houses for radon.

Every home should have a carbon monoxide alarm and a smoke detector.

Tests for other chemicals or mould are not recommended. This is because there are better ways to improve indoor air quality.

If you think your indoor air quality is poor, you should first look for possible causes. These include:

  • mould or water leaks that could be causing mould to grow
  • broken or improperly vented combustion appliances, such as your furnace or stove
  • products that can release chemicals into the air, such as:
    • glues
    • paints
    • varnishes
    • wood-plastic composites (wood products combined with plastic and chemicals)

If the problem is simple enough, you may be able to fix it at the source. If it is a difficult fix, you should hire a professional contractor.

Carbon monoxide alarms

Carbon monoxide is a gas that cannot be:

  • seen
  • tasted
  • smelled

The presence of carbon monoxide can only be detected with a certified carbon monoxide alarm.

Make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to install, test, use and replace the alarm.

You should install a carbon monoxide alarm certified by a certification body that is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada near bedrooms. The alarm will have a certification mark on it such as CSA, UL, Intertek ETL, etc..The alarm will wake you up if something happens during the night.

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