The COVID-19 pandemic brought indoor air quality (IAQ) to the forefront for homes, schools, and businesses. But why is indoor air quality important, and what are the factors affecting indoor air quality? Read on to learn the answers to those questions and much more about IAQ.
Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?
On the most basic level, IAQ refers to the quality of ambient air within and around facilities, homes, and structures. IAQ is important because it has a tremendous effect on the health, well-being, and comfort of occupants in a commercial office, healthcare, food and beverage, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, aerospace, or any other facility.
Buildings with low indoor air quality leave visitors and employees susceptible to several symptoms, including:
- Allergic reactions
- Lack of concentration
- Eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation
In certain circumstances, airborne contaminants or damp conditions can cause or worsen cardiovascular issues, asthma, and other diseases. Prolonged exposure to elements such as radon and asbestos can lead to lung cancer.
Poor air quality at work is shown to cause reduced productivity, heightened employee dissatisfaction, and loss of customer loyalty. Even worse, substandard air quality at schools is linked to impaired learning capabilities in students.
What Factors Affect Indoor Air Quality?
With so many indoor air quality problems to worry about, it’s essential to understand what causes them. One of the most significant factors affecting indoor air quality is the ventilation system. Stagnant air leads to indoor air pollution, airborne contaminants, fluctuating temperatures, foul smells, and high humidity. If your building isn’t cycling in enough outdoor air and purifying the inside air, you’re likely to experience some level of poor IAQ.
Another factor affecting indoor air quality at work, school, homes is air pollutants. Things like dust mites, dander, and particulate matter can impair occupants’ health and ability to breathe in an affected space.
Is IAQ Testing Available?
As you can see by the list of adverse effects and symptoms caused by poor IAQ, IAQ testing is essential. Indoor air quality monitoring and testing play a vital role in detecting and remediation of public health risks. Even if you don’t suspect issues, periodic indoor air quality testing performed by a reputable and experienced service provider is highly recommended.
A thorough IAQ test inspects numerous elements of an HVAC system, including:
- Ventilation systems
- Air conditioners
- Filtration systems
IAQ testing also monitors levels of contaminants and particulate matter like:
- Chemical pollutants
- Volatile organic compounds
- Carbon dioxide
- Dust mites
- Skin cells
- Animal dander
- And more
Along with IAQ testing, preventative HVAC maintenance helps prevent degraded air quality levels. Often, a factor of indoor air quality loss is faulty equipment. A service plan detects issues before they become the source of much bigger problems.
Tips for Improving IAQ
If you’re wondering what you can do to promote environmental health at your office or building, we have some valuable tips to improve IAQ. Make sure furniture, equipment, boxes, or other items aren’t blocking air vents. Also, be sure to keep air vents open to allow even and steady airflow throughout the building.
Regularly check and replace your air filters. Professionals recommend swapping air filters every 6 to 12 months, but do so more frequently if you notice heavy dust or dirt built up. While changing your air filters, you should also look at your ducts. While servicing is best left to trained technicians, you can still inspect for signs of dirt and debris.
Keeping humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent dramatically reduces the chance of dust mites, mold, and allergens from accumulating and circulating throughout your space. And as both an aesthetic and functional improvement, add plants throughout your office. Plants are great at absorbing toxins, and they produce more oxygen for your guests and employees to breathe.
Trust the Experts at A&G Services
A&G takes pride in helping our customers experience comfortable, healthy workspaces. If your building shows signs of poor IAQ, or you need help pinpointing the factors affecting indoor air quality at your establishment, reach out to us today to schedule your free appointment. Our IAQ testing and remediation is sure to help you, your guests, and your workers breathe easier.