Most people are aware that one of the most important parts of the process when buying a home is the inspection.

A qualified inspector will look at all aspects of the home – the structure, HVAC, plumbing and much more.

One aspect of the inspection that most people don’t even consider is indoor air quality.

But measuring indoor air quality is of major significance when it comes to buying a home.

Actually, the environment inside a home can be two to five times more toxic than the air right outside the home, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And that data considers both new homes and older homes.

In new construction, many of the materials used contain high levels of toxic formaldehyde and harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Additionally, smoke, fungal spores, and chemicals used in most man-made products including certain paints, varnishes and cleaners can be harmful.

In older homes, inspectors will look for mold, especially in a basement or in the attic. But mold spores may also be present in the air inside the home. While this is more likely in older homes, it can occur in homes of any age.

In addition to mold, inspectors may also test for lead paint, especially in homes built before 1978, asbestos and radon.

And while an inspection will include determining that all your faucets and pumps work, you may want to consider testing water quality as well.

Heavy metals in pipes, arsenic that is present in water and pesticide contamination are among the things that can taint the water you are drinking, bathing in, and using every day.

While testing for all of this is generally not included in a standard home inspection, it is worth considering having it all done. As a buyer, if there are issues discovered before you purchase the home, you can work with the seller to get things fixed or make a decision to not buy the home.

But certainly, before moving your family into a home you want to make sure it safe both structurally and from a perspective of health.