Guidelines for Selecting an IAQ Consultant

It is important to determine whether you truly need to hire a professional to evaluate or remediate a suspected indoor air quality (IAQ) problem. There is tremendous variability in knowledge and skill levels among individuals providing IAQ services. In addition, there are no federal or state standards or certification requirements for potential service providers, except where it involves asbestos and lead. Consider the following when determining the need for and type of service provider to investigate and/or resolve your IAQ problem.

  • STEP 1: Try to identify or solve the problem yourself. Keep an open mind and don’t focus on only one potential issue; doing so may result in missing other possible problems. Start by reviewing MDH indoor air quality fact sheets and recommended resources on our website, located at the bottom of this fact sheet.
  • STEP 2: If unsure about your ability to positively identify the problem, determine what specific expertise or equipment is needed to fully investigate the problem. Gather as much evidence as you can about what is causing the IAQ problem.
  • STEP 3: Based on your established needs, determine who may be the most qualified professional to perform the task. Interview potential IAQ service providers. Consider asking and checking the following items:

  1. Have you dealt with this type of problem before?
  2. How did you investigate or address similar problems and with what result?
  3. Ask for a copy of an example written report the service provider wrote for a similar project. Look for specific and detailed explanations. For example, if the service provider was hired to assess a property, there should be an explanation of methods used, findings, recommendations, and limitations.
  4. Check the service provider’s credentials with the accrediting, licensing, or certifying body, if applicable.
  5. Ask for references of clients that had similar problems. Ask the references:
    1. What specific services were performed?
    2. Did the service provider keep on task?
    3. Did the service provider perform any unnecessary services?
    4. Did the service provider achieve desired results?
    5. Did the service provider perform work within agreed budget?
    6. What, if anything, would you have done differently?

IAQ service providers may be found in local listings. In addition, national IAQ organizations’ websites list service providers. The Minnesota Department of Health does not endorse, license or regulate the service providers listed on the websites below.

IAQ information and listings of other indoor environment specialists, such as radon, lead and asbestos professionals, can be found at this MDH website: Air Quality

 

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Updated Monday, 23-Sep-2013 12:52:30 CDT