Breathe It In: This Is How Much Indoor Air Quality Testing Costs

Lawrence Bonk
Written by Lawrence Bonk
Updated March 21, 2022
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Photo: Marko Geber / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Indoor air quality tests cost $280 to $560, depending on home size. 

  • Modern tests identify mold, allergens, volatile organic compounds, and more.

  • Some experts provide detailed analyses on specific pollutants, such as mold. 

  • DIY home testing kits cost $15 to $200, though they lack some detail. 

  • After the test, address the underlying causes via mold remediation, HVAC maintenance, or asbestos removal, among other fixes.

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Allow us to state the obvious here: You spend a lot of time in your home breathing in air. While this is hardly breaking news, it does pinpoint the importance of making sure your indoor air quality is up to snuff. Slack off, and it can lead to buildups of mold, mildew, pet dander, allergens, and more. Improving indoor air quality is a multi-faceted task made much easier by learning your exact trouble points. 

Luckily, there are local home air quality testing companies out there who suss out the condition of your air. For this report card, it’ll cost anywhere from $280 to $560, depending on a few factors we’ll discuss below.

3 options on who to hire for indoor air quality, including a home inspector

Air Quality Test Cost Breakdown 

These tests range in price depending on the size of your home, what pollutants you are testing for, and whether you are testing before purchasing a newly built property. 

Generally speaking, the average air quality test costs around $420, with a low-end price of $150 and a high-end price of $1,000. The median range is $280 to $560

Here is what impacts the cost of indoor air quality tests. 

Home Size

By far the largest price variable with these tests is the size of the home. Obviously, larger homes cost more than smaller properties. Inspectors take samples of the air to root out potential health dangers, so they’ll likely need samples from each designated space in your home. Here are common home sizes and their associated cost breakdowns. 

  • Less than 1,000 square feet: The smallest homes are the easiest to inspect, so you’ll pay $200 to $300

  • 1,000 to 2,500 square feet: Medium-sized homes often feature basements and attics, adding to the testing complexity. You’ll pay $300 to $500

  • Over 2,500 square feet: Large properties demand thorough and time-consuming work, so you’ll pay anywhere from $500 to $1,000. 

  • Commercial properties: Companies open themselves up to lawsuits if they allow dangerous air to fester, so testing costs $1,000 to $3,000 or more, depending on the size of the space. 

Type of Pollutants 

A basic whole-home air quality test costs an average of $420. It helps identify the presence of mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), various common allergens, pet dander, and carbon monoxide. 

However, many homeowners benefit from highly specific tests for particular pollutants that offer a more in-depth analysis than the basic package. These stepped-up tests vary in price depending on the type of pollutant. 

Testing TypeCost
Mold Testing$300 – $1,000
Allergen Testing$100 – $200
Asbestos Testing$200 – $800
VOC Testing$200 – $300 per request
Radon Inspection$150 – $800
Carbon Monoxide Detection$100 – $200

  • Detailed mold testing: A basic home package identifies the presence of mold. Still, it may not identify the type of mold or its exact location in the home. For a thorough mold-related air quality test, you’ll pay $300 to $1,000, with an average cost of $700. Once you are properly informed, contact a local professional remediation company to discuss removal options. 

  • Detailed allergen testing: Again, a basic indoor air quality test identifies some common allergens, but those with specific sensitivities may opt for a more detailed examination. Testing for specific allergens costs $100 to $200 but susses out pest particulates, pest waste, pollen, dust mites, and more. 

  • Asbestos testing: Asbestos is a nasty and dangerous fiber previously used in building materials. If you have an older home and suspect the presence of asbestos, an asbestos air testing package costs $200 to $800, with an average price of $500. As an aside, asbestos removal costs between $1,120 and $2,910. 

  • VOC testing: You can test for specific volatile organic compounds, such as formaldehyde, for $200 to $300 per request. Many common household items include VOCs, such as paint, household cleaners, hairspray, cigarettes, and even burning candles.

  • Radon inspection: Radon is not overly common with modern homes, but when found it represents a particular health danger. A comprehensive radon-specific air quality test costs $150 to $800, depending on the size of the home. 

  • Carbon monoxide: Detection services for carbon monoxide range from $100 to $200. Many homeowners have carbon monoxide detectors in their houses to perform this service. Carbon monoxide detectors cost $15 to $150, depending on the style.

New Builds and Home Purchases

Before moving into a newly built or purchased home, consumers often spring for a comprehensive air quality test that analyzes contaminants commonly released by construction materials. These specific tests range from $200 to $1,000, depending on the size of the home and the complexity of the design. 

What Factors Influence the Cost of Indoor Air Quality Tests?

 Indoor damp & air quality testing
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There are some additional factors worth considering that impact your overall cost when conducting an indoor air quality test or tests. 

DIY Kits

There are many at-home air testing kits out there, costing anywhere from $15 to $200, depending on the type of pollutant tested and the size of your home. These kits save some money when compared to hiring a professional, but you’ll still need an expert to verify the results if any of them come up positive. Additionally, at-home tests cannot actually diagnose problems and recommend a course of action. 

Beyond these testing kits, there are many other signs of poor air quality to look out for, such as discolored attic walls, dampness near vents and grills, and warped or peeling wallpaper.

Fixing Any Issues 

Of course, once you learn all about your indoor air quality, or lack thereof, it’s on you to fix the underlying problems. Decent HVAC air filters cost around $100 per unit, HEPA air purifiers cost between $100 to $500, and radon removal costs $800 to $1,200. Additionally, mold removal costs $1,120 to $3,340 and asbestos removal costs $1,500, on average. 

FAQs

How do I find a reputable indoor air testing company? 

Before hiring a pro to enter your home to perform an indoor air quality test, check out the company’s official website and look them up on the Better Business Bureau portal, find any relevant social media accounts, and look them up on trade forums. 

After that, give them a call to discuss the required tests, taking care to mention the size of your home, the number of rooms, and what pollutants you are especially concerned with. 

Ask them about their experience level and contacts in the mold remediation, HVAC repair, or asbestos removal industries. You should also reach out to any references they provide and inquire about professionalism and quality of work. 

How long does it take to see test results? 

A professional indoor air quality inspection takes anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the size of your home and the number of necessary samples. After the test, the specialist will discuss the findings, but you won’t get a full written report for two to ten days, though ask your pro to expedite that process if needed. 

Does a home inspector test for air quality? 

In some cases, a home inspector tests the indoor air quality if properly certified. Most of the time, however, they’ll outsource the work to a professional air quality consultant. Testing indoor air for pollutants requires several certifications and a suite of specialized tools. Many HVAC and home inspection pros have this certification.

Can I test indoor air quality myself?

A DIY kit can lessen the sting that comes with paying for a professional assessment, but these comprehensive tests are true lifesavers. Inspectors are more likely to catch all the pollutants and hazards in your air. Plus, you’ll still need a professional to verify and act on your DIY test results. 

Some kits don’t include tests for certain air pollutants or only detect their presence, but not their levels (e.g., mold spores). If you’re willing to shell out money for a DIY kit, it’s usually better to stretch your budget slightly higher for a more detailed assessment.

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