Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Trends and Technology & Why AC Servicing Is Important
We discussed indoor air quality (IAQ) much more when COVID-19 hit. Before the pandemic, it’s safe to say that the topic of poor indoor air quality had flown under the radar, largely underacknowledged. Diversified offer AC Servicing to help improve the quality of air and efficency of your HVAC.
Did you know, however, that poor IAQ can cause illness and cognitive issues? The EPA has stated that poor indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental risks to public health. Many people don’t realize the adverse effects of poor air quality on their health.
Let’s discuss some impacts of poor IAQ, why your air quality might suffer, and then learn the latest trends and technology used to improve indoor air quality.
Health Impacts of Poor Indoor Air Quality
IAQ refers to the air quality inside and around buildings as it relates to the comfort and health of the occupants of that building. Pollutants like mold, dust mites, lead, radon, carbon monoxide, pet dander, and more are common in buildings with poor IAQ.
Increased heat, rain, and other weather can worsen indoor air quality by promoting mold, dust mites, and bacteria.
Short-term effects of poor IAQ are eye, nose, and throat irritation, dizziness, increased asthma symptoms, and headache. Long-term effects that impact people exposed to poor air quality over a long period include cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease. These collectively are known as “Sick Building Syndrome.”
Why is a Building’s IAQ Bad, and How Do You Know?
Air quality in schools, government offices, hospitals, and other commercial buildings can be impacted because of several reasons:
- Reduced or poor ventilation
- Synthetic building materials
- Building deterioration
- Improper maintenance of building equipment (like HVAC)
Your building might have poor IAQ if you notice an increase in absenteeism and people in the building developing symptoms (especially respiratory symptoms). Other clues are unusual deterioration of furnishings and wall coverings, moldy or musty areas, and more.
So, what are some ways that building owners can fight poor indoor air quality?
Ultraviolet Light and IAQ
One of the latest trends in indoor air quality is the use of ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light is effective in reducing the growth of mold, bacteria, and viruses. This technology is becoming more popular as people search for ways to improve their IAQ.
You can use UV light in two different ways to improve IAQ. The first is using UV lamps. These lamps emit UV light that helps to kill mold, bacteria, and viruses.
Another way to use UV light to improve IAQ is through photocatalytic oxidation (PCO). This technology uses UV light to create a chemical reaction that helps to break down pollutants. These solutions can be installed by a qualified HVAC technician like Diversified HVAC.
Smart Data Platforms
Skill gaps and labor shortages hamper progress on building repairs and other efforts towards improving IAQ in commercial buildings.
Smart data platforms put resources into a building owner or property manager’s hands, capturing information and allowing a connection to people who live and work in the buildings.
Other Tips for Improving IAQ
There are other ways that you can improve your IAQ. Here are some tips:
- Ventilation for good IAQ. Make sure that your home or office is well-ventilated.
- Use air purifiers to remove pollutants from the air.
- Avoid using chemicals and cleaning products that release VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
- Make sure you are properly maintaining your HVAC by AC Servicing.
Diligence around indoor air quality in commercial spaces is rising. Changing environmental conditions, the persistence of viral contagions, and more, mean that we need to monitor the air in our buildings. If you need help monitoring and improving your indoor air quality, contact us today.