Field Guide – Collecting Air Samples

Sporecyte uses air samples to assess the types and levels of mold present in the air of the home. Air samples can help identify any mold that can affect the indoor air quality of the home.

An outdoor air sample is required to compare the amount of spores found inside the home with the amount found outside. We use this comparison to find out if any spores found inside the home are naturally occurring from the outside environment or if mold is growing inside the home. Without an outdoor air sample, Sporecyte will not be able to issue a report for your project.

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When scheduling the appointment to collect air samples, inform the home buyer that it is best to keep windows and doors closed for 24hrs prior to the appointment. Any air purifiers and outdoor air exchangers also should be turned off 24hrs prior to the appointment. The HVAC system can run as normal and any attached furnace filters can remain in place.

Make sure the air pump is working properly and the sampling cassettes are not past the expiration date.

Sporecyte recommends having extra supplies of the Air Sample Cassettes on hand. Home buyers often want to take more samples than they originally planned.

Needed Supplies:

  1. Chain of Custody Form (printed or digital)
  2. Air Pump
  3. Spare Batteries (AAx4)*
  4. Allergenco-D Posi-Track Air Sample Cassettes (min. 3)
  5. FedEx Shipping Package
  6. FedEx Shipping Label addressed to Sporecyte

*Batteries need to be fully powered for consistent sample collection throughout the job.

Often, the home buyer will have specific locations in mind they want to have tested, such as a bedroom or a basement that flooded. Other times, you will have to determine the best location to take samples.

Location quality







Indoor air samples should only be collected in conditioned or finished living spaces. Unconditioned spaces are not appropriate for air sampling since they are not closed off from the outdoor air as well and do not have the same level of housekeeping as living spaces. Unconditioned spaces are more likely to have significant levels of background debris and naturally occurring mold spores that have settled. This can lead to false positive results.

Once you have found a good location for samples, set up the pump in a spot that is in the center of the room and is within the “breathing zone”, which is approximately 3 to 6 feet from the floor. You can set the pump on a tripod, countertop, furniture, or a ladder to get the best height.

For outdoor air samples: 

Collect the air sample using the same steps as the indoor samples.