What is IAQ?
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the quality of the air inside and around buildings as it relates to the health, safety, and comfort of the building’s occupants. Understanding and controlling common indoor air pollutants is critical to helping reduce your risk of indoor health concerns.
Causes of Indoor Air Problems
Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough fresh air to reduce emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the area. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants. Some sources of indoor pollutants include
- Fuel-burning combustion appliances (heaters, etc.)
- Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices
- Building materials and furnishings such as asbestos-containing products, adhesives in newly installed material (flooring, pressed-wood cabinetry, etc.)
- Cleaning and maintenance products
- Excess moisture
- Outdoor sources such as pesticides or air pollution.
Mechanical ventilation is a key component to controlling the IAQ in your building, whether it is outdoor-vented fans that remove air from a single room, such as bathrooms, to air handling systems that use fans and duct work to continuously remove indoor air and distribute filtered and conditioned fresh air to the building’s occupants. Working with an engineer that knows the code requirements regarding ventilation is the first step to achieving good IAQ.
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Times are turbulent and ensuring the health and safety of your students is critical. HTW can help assess your current equipment and determine what steps you need to take to improve your IAQ. Contact us to find out more.