Air Quality and Combustion Safety Testing

With so much interest in making homes more efficient many homeowners are having insulation and air sealing done without having proper air safety tests performed to make sure that the homes have not become too tight. Homes that are too tight can have what is called, ―Sick Building Syndrome.‖ These homes have increased mold activity, a buildup of excessive moisture and a high risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. This is especially a concern when homes are insulated with foam. 

Did you know that:

  • One in three people have allergies severe enough to seek medical treatments. • Molds and moisture produce allergens, irritants and sometimes become toxic.
  • The U.S. Surgeon General considers asthma an epidemic, with over 9.5 million children affected — 13 percent of the population under 18. It is the leading killer of young children.
  • In Maine, the child asthma rate is 20 percent higher than the national average. • Radon is one of the leading lung cancer risk factors and Maine has high radon rates. In Androscoggin and Cumberland counties, 76 percent of homes had radon levels requiring action. Lung cancer in Maine is 20 percent higher than the national average. Nationally, radon kills 1 in 44.
  • The CDC has declared formaldehyde a carcinogen. It is used extensively in construction — framing, flooring, walls, cabinets, carpeting, subflooring, furniture, etc.
  • In a recent California study of new, energy-efficient homes, 98 percent had toxic levels of formaldehyde – perhaps most appalling is that baby furniture emits enough formaldehyde to produce toxic levels in a tight house.
  • New computers release 48 known toxic chemicals. Our appliances release gases directly into the air and the everyday cleaning compounds remain in the air we are rebreathing in our tight, unventilated homes.
  • Carbon monoxide is emitted by any home appliance with a flame, such as wood stoves, pellet stoves, oil burners, hot water heaters, gas heaters, gas ranges and gas fireplaces. Deadly carbon monoxide can build up in a home in a matter of hours. 

Combustion Safety Tests 

There are three safety tests that we do to ensure that the potential for carbon monoxide back drafting does not exist. The first is the "Worst Case Caz Pressure Test" which is done to measure the potential for back drafting the boiler when the home’s ventilation fans are running. The second test is the "Draft Flue Pressure Test" which measures the pressure of the of the exhaust gas in the flue pipe itself. This test verifies that the flue gas is not going to be back drafted out of the combustions system when the home’s ventilation fans are running. The third is the "Acceptable Draft Flue Spillage Test" which verifies that flue gas is not leaked into the home once the system has begun normal operations. 

Air Exchange Test 

This test is done to measure the amount of fresh air that is introduced into the home in an hour through normal leakage. Homes should have about 1/3  of the interior be replaced with outside fresh air each hour. If the home is too tight excess moisture and noxious gases can build up and create an unhealthy situation. 

 We offer 3 air quality testing packages:

Platinum: $250

  • Combustion Safety Testing
  • Air exchange calculation
  • Radon air test

Gold: $175

  • Combustion Safety Testing
  • Air exchange calculation

Silver: $100

  • Combustion safety testing