Definition of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
“Indoor air quality is defined as the nature of air that affects the health and well-being of occupants. More simply, IAQ is the impact interior contaminants have on the air we breathe indoors.”
This is a fairly simple definition and for the most part conveys the point that the quality of the air indoors, can affect our health. However, the endquality of the air indoors is really affected by more than just the impact of interior contaminants, it is affected by a number of conditions. These are as follows:
Heating and Cooling Systems
Proper temperature and humidity control are essential in maintaining good indoor air quality. For example, inadequate cooling or moisture reduction can increase the possibility of mold (fungal) production. Airflow control or using the heating / cooling fan to maintain airflow is essential in keeping the occupied space uniformly heated and cooled.
Indoor air quality is defined as the nature of air that affects the health and well-being of occupants. More simply, IAQ is the impact interior contaminants have on the air we breathe indoors.
Having the appropriate number of returns (cold air returns) and supply grills can have a great affect on Indoor Air Quality. Not enough returns can reduce the effectiveness of proper heating and cooling and can severely reduce the ability to move all of the air or reduce the moisture levels in the occupied space. This can also affect filtration of the air.
Ventilation / Pressurization System
Buildings and homes are much tighter today. The need to reduce energy usage for heating and cooling has created indoor environments with little or no fresh air exchange. Introduction of small amounts of outside filtered, fresh air can significantly reduce CO2 levels as well as slightly pressurize the environment to minimize entry of outdoor contaminants into the occupied space.
The ability to reduce / remove a significant level of the respirable sized (less than 2 microns) airborne particles is essential in maintaining good indoor air quality. Air Filter Systems need to be efficient without affecting the performance of the heating / cooling fan system. Constant airflow through the heating / cooling systems, when possible, is recommended to keep airborne particles going to the filter and not settling out on the floor.
Building materials, smoking, office equipment, process equipment, etc.; Obviously, there are a number of other items that can affect indoor air quality. From cigarette smoke to cooking odors to ozone from laser printers all of these can add to the challenges of maintaining good indoor air quality.
As you can see, indoor air quality is affected by more than one factor. It is for this reason that we need to better understand how each and everyone of these factors or variables affects both our indoor comfort level and our ability to maintain a healthy indoor environment.