Putting Them To The Test: Air Quality VS Home Performance

Your home is where you spend most of your time, so you need it to be at its best. Many people choose to have an air quality test done to see if they can make improvements. Fewer people, however, opt for a home performance test. The two things are often confused but are, in fact, quite different.

Knowing which to get can help you improve the comfort of your home and your own health.

What Is an Air Quality Test?

An air quality test checks your home for pollutants. Most experts suggest having your home checked for specific contaminants rather than a general test. General tests are typically not worth the money unless there has been a significant pollution incident.

Instead, you should check for specific things you are concerned about. For example:

  • If radon is an issue in your area, you must get a radon test done. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, and there are things you can do to mitigate radon (which will also increase the value of your home).
  • If you have had asbestos remediation done, you should check for asbestos.
  • If your home feels “stuffy,” then CO2 levels might be a concern.

Improving indoor air quality is important, but it’s not the same thing as checking home performance.

What Is a Home Performance Test?

A home performance test, also called a home energy assessment, is a series of tests designed to establish if your home is using energy efficiently. It can also help you with air quality by assessing air infiltration (unintended entry of outside air), indoor humidity, and VOC contamination.

They will also check the performance of your HVAC system by doing an airflow test. This test assesses your system to see if it is producing enough airflow to reach all of your home. An energy efficiency test is to measure what your system is consuming.

These tests will identify issues that might reduce your comfort and/or increase your energy bill. Unlike air quality tests alone, home performance tests do pay for themselves—and for the recommendations that come from them—by reducing energy bills, doing HVAC repairs before the system fails, and so on.

What Recommendations Can I Expect From a Home Performance Test?

After a home performance test, we will make a number of recommendations on ways to improve your home’s efficiency. These might include:

  • Using spray foam insulation to close off drafts and reduce outdoor air infiltration, as well as heat loss/gain
  • Tuning your HVAC system to improve efficiency and doing necessary repairs
  • Adding air purifiers and humidifiers or dehumidifiers to improve indoor air quality
  • Whole-home air sealing, which may be necessary if you have significant drafts
  • Adding insulation to your attic or foundation
  • Sealing ducts to spaces you don’t need to air condition
  • Installing smart thermostats and other energy-saving devices such as LED bulbs and ENERGY STAR appliances
  • Replacing HVAC equipment, furnaces, and other systems if repairs alone are not going to save significant money

The recommendations will depend on what we find, what issues you have, and local environmental issues. The goal is to improve efficiency as much as possible.

How Much Can I Save With a Home Performance Test?

Many of the things we recommend can be done by you or with minimal cost. Switching out light bulbs, for example, is easy, and you can do it in stages when existing bulbs fail. If you like DIY projects, you may be able to add insulation yourself, too, and we can help with air purifiers and humidifiers.

The biggest savings are reductions in your energy bill. Most households save between 5 and 30% off their monthly bills. Some upgrades, such as a new furnace, can also increase the value of your home if you plan on selling it in the near future. But the primary benefit is to your utility bills. You can also improve your health (and productivity if you work from home).

If you want a home performance test, contact Capital City Comfort Solutions to schedule your appointment today. You won’t regret it.

Capital City Comfort Solutions