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Indoor Air Quality Solutions and Strategies

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the air quality within and around structures, spaces and buildings. It’s typically a measure of the comfort and healthiness of anyone in and around buildings. Common contaminants and pollutants in buildings can drastically affect the indoor experience — maintaining a high IAQ helps ensure the comfort and health of interior occupants.

Poor IAQ can lead to immediate or long-term health effects for those who inhale this air. Implementing specialist indoor air quality solutions and strategies helps protect spaces and occupants, ensuring building safety and maintaining public health.

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Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality

The release of particles or gas inside is the main cause of poor IAQ. Contamination sources expel these pollutants inside, leading to problems with air quality. Some of the primary causes of poor indoor air quality include:

  • Poor ventilation
  • Moisture buildup
  • High or low humidity
  • Remodeling
  • Issues with temperature control
  • Cleaning products
  • Tobacco products
  • Fuel-burning combustion appliances
  • Pesticides, air pollution and other particulates from nearby exterior sources

All of the above factors contribute heavily to poor indoor air quality. Improper humidity, ventilation and temperature will exacerbate existing air quality issues and increase the damage caused by pollutant particles or gases.

Indoor Air Quality Solutions

With the right indoor air quality solutions and strategies, IAQ can be made safe and comfortable for building occupants. Protecting occupant health reduces health issues, lowers costs incurred by these health issues and creates a welcoming space.

Indoor Air Quality Solutions

Here are several air quality solutions used to improve IAQ:

1. Ventilation and Airflow Strategies

Improving ventilation will allow fresh, clean air to enter the building. Quality ventilation reduces the concentration of pollutants and their harmful effects.

Upgrading to advanced ventilation systems that mechanically bring in exterior air is an excellent strategy for improved ventilation. For short-term improvement, opening windows and doors allow pollution to exit the area. Additionally, exhaust fans draw out poor interior air and release it outside, creating a safer, cleaner interior environment.

The proper ventilation and airflow methods for a building will work with its unique needs, removing polluted air while drawing in fresh air for better IAQ.

2. Air Purification Systems

Efficient air purification systems with high-air circulation rates are incredibly effective at improving IAQ. Once installed, it’s critical to maintain the system according to the manufacturer’s instructions — this improves its efficiency and prevents damage.

Using systems recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows buildings to maintain regulation standards for IAQ. Alternatives models are acceptable in non-traditional applications, but working with an expert air quality consultant group is essential to select the right model for each situation.

3. Building Materials and Furnishings

A variety of building materials and furnishings can contribute to poor IAQ. It’s critical to avoid insulation obtaining asbestos — as it deteriorates, it’ll pollute the surrounding air.

Replace any asbestos-containing insulation for improved IAQ if remodeling. Additionally, take precautions when installing new flooring, fans and ventilation. These processes introduce harmful particles into the air, negatively affecting health.

Finally, some pressed wood products can harm IAQ — consult with air quality experts to avoid these.

4. Pest Control Solutions

Pesticides used in and around structures can lower IAQ and harm occupants. The EPA requires pesticides to register for use, and labels must detail the dangers of use. Implementing pest control solutions safely and according to government and professional regulations will protect occupants from pests and poor IAQ.

Indoor Air Quality Management Strategies

Implementing IAQ management strategies helps protect occupants and controls the IAQ of a structure, making it more habitable and safe. The proper management strategies will work with building use and needs, customizing management for its specific circumstances.

  • Regular IAQ monitoring and testing: Consistent IAQ testing allows buildings to maintain proper IAQ quality. The more frequent testing is, the less time pollutants have to reduce IAQ if contaminants are released. Better monitoring leads to improved response times and reduced health issues.
  • Employee awareness and education: Employees should be educated on the air quality risks associated with their work. Additionally, they should be able to recognize the physical health signs associated with poor IAQ intake. Correct training allows them to respond quickly to IAQ danger and helps improve work site safety.
  • Maintenance and housekeeping: Every facility should have a written maintenance program for IAQ equipment. Programs include annual inspections and cleanings, along with other maintenance steps mandated by the manufacturer. The system needs regular testing, general upkeep and yearly inspections to ensure maximum efficiency.
  • Implementation of IAQ policy and procedures: Facilities should work with air quality consultants to design, implement and maintain their IAQ policy and procedures. Procedures should include maintenance information, employee education and regular testing. There should be IAQ coordinators, checklists and management plans to create a smooth process for maintaining high IAQ.

Technologies for Improving Indoor Air Quality

Modern technology allows for greater control over IAQ than ever before. These innovations help reduce indoor air contamination, allowing for better air circulation and improved occupant health. While one technology won’t protect against all hazards or emergencies, working with experts to combine advanced IAQ technologies will produce the best IAQ and provide maximum protection.

Technologies for Improving Indoor Air Quality

  • Advanced ventilation systems: Advanced ventilation systems optimize efficiency and air quality. They can mechanically introduce clean air inside and help reduce health hazards. Newer systems bring in fresh air while preventing humidity and heat loss inside.
  • Smart building technology: Smart air purifiers, air conditioning systems and sensors all offer improved control and response for managing IAQ. These smart systems adjust to interior conditions, alerting occupants to danger and adjusting to control for changing IAQ. Their smart functions respond quickly to changing IAQ and improve efficiency, reducing facility operating costs.
  • Advanced air purification systems: Industrial, advanced purification systems are highly effective, removing a majority of unwanted pollutants. These filtration systems remove solid and molecular particulates from an environment easily. With good maintenance, they’re critical for a facility’s high IAQ.

Choose TRC Companies for Expert Air Quality Solutions

Air quality management is critical for building and occupant safety. Ensuring occupants are protected from airborne hazards is vital for maintaining their health and following government regulations. Technological advances have improved control over IAQ more than ever before, building better, safer spaces for everyone.

Our customized air quality solutions provide highly effective management of IAQ for facilities. With expert advice, management and air quality plan implementation and equipment, facilities can enjoy superior IAQ and response solutions. For assistance with air quality management, contact us today.

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