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. Remember that there is no one air test that can diagnose every air problem. Testing can be complicated and expensive, so it is important to be informed. For some problems, such as mold, we recommend starting with a thorough inspection before considering sampling.
Gather information about your situation before contacting a consultant. Not only will this help you potentially solve your own issue, it will help ensure you have the information needed to hire the correct professional. Review MDH’s information on indoor air quality to assess your property and your health concerns. Keep an open mind and don’t focus on only one potential issue, you may miss other possible problems.
Knowledge and skill levels vary among individuals providing IAQ services. Currently, there are no state or federal standards or certification requirements for most potential service providers, other than those who work with asbestos, lead and radon. As with any home project, it is a good idea to get quotes from a few providers before making a decision.
When seeking quotes from consultants, consider and ask the following:
- Prior experience
- Have you dealt with this type of problem before? How often? For how many years?
- How did you investigate the issue and what were the results? Can you share an example report that describes the methods, findings and recommendations for a similar requested service?
- Ask for references of clients who had similar problems.
- Training, accreditation or certification
- What is your training in indoor air quality?
- Do you hold any professional certifications or licenses?
- Do you use accredited laboratories, accredited equipment, and/or professional standards (where applicable)?
- Conflict of interest
- Do you or your company also provide remediation services?