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Do I have an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Issue?

How Do I Identify the IAQ Issue?

One key element in resolving IAQ problems is to identify problems yourself and determine how serious they are and how difficult they may be to solve.  The time to seek outside help is if you cannot explain how or why a problem is happening or have tried to and have failed to fix it on your own.


Narrowing down possible sources of a problem can help you determine what type of help you need.  For instance, if the problem is in the heating or cooling system, you can hire a ventilation specialist.  If you cannot tell what is causing the problem, you may want to hire an IAQ specialist.

Be aware that some types of work, that is, collection and analysis of samples, can be costly.  Therefore, seek as much information as you can about common causes of indoor problems so you know which you may be able to fix yourself and if you hire a consultant what you expect from the person.

Landlords and Property, School, and Office Managers


  • The complaints or symptoms people in the building report
  • Encourage persons with specific medical problems to see their healthcare provider.
  • How many persons have problems or concerns
  • Where these occupants are located and their activities in the building
  • When and how often the problems occur
  • General observations from the people in the building about the indoor environment.

For serious problems, your prompt response and willingness to consult a professional or other third-hand party may reduce your liability.  In situations in which litigation is involved, environmental sampling may be necessary to understand the cause of a problem or rule out potential causes.  A professional with extensive experience should collect the samples, and a reliable laboratory should analyze them.  Experience in interpretation of results is essential.  Therefore, ask for samples of other lab and inspection reports to help you decide with which firm you can work most successfully.


Last modified on: 4/19/2014 8:41 AM