The average person spends about 90 percent of their time breathing indoor air, so it is critical to make sure that your indoor air quality (IAQ) is high. Installing an indoor air quality monitor can help to ensure that the air you breathe won’t damage your health or your home, and can even help your HVAC system to work more efficiently.
Factors Contributing to Unhealthy Indoor Air
There are a variety of factors that can lead to poor (IAQ) and the negative consequences that can result from bad indoor air. These factors include:
- Poor ventilation
- Airborne chemicals
- Formaldehyde (CH2O)
- Poor temperature and humidity control
- Ozone emissions from photocopiers and printers
- Large quantities of total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs)
- Outside pollutants, such as vehicle emissions
All of these IAQ problems can cause short-term discomfort for individuals in the environment, and some have the potential to cause long-term health damage. Poor IAQ can also cause damage to building interiors and furniture, such as cracks in wood flooring.
Health Effects From Poor Air Quality
Exposure to poor air quality can cause short-term symptoms such as upper respiratory congestion, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat or skin. Long-term exposure can eventually contribute to the development of very serious illnesses such as heart disease, respiratory disease and cancer, while acute exposure to pollutants like carbon monoxide can result in death.
Air quality monitoring instruments can detect a large number of compounds that may pose a health risk to building occupants, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, methane, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone. These instruments can also detect unsuitable humidity and temperature levels , which can contribute to occupant discomfort and symptoms.
Good IAQ Can Help Business Productivity
Poor IAQ can be a major concern for businesses. Businesses with poor air quality may encounter a phenomenon known as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), in which a large number of people experience serious discomfort related to indoor air quality. SBS can negatively impact the health and comfort of employees, which reduces overall productivity. As a resulting, addressing the issue of poor air quality makes financial as well as ethical sense for business owners.
Using IAQ to Measure HVAC Efficiency
The sensor results from IAQ monitoring systems can provide greater insight into the overall efficiency of your HVAC system. These systems will detect insufficient ventilation, but can also let you know when a building is over-ventilated and producing excessive carbon dioxide emissions. IAQ monitors help to ensure that the right amount of energy is being used in the right areas, and can actually save you money in the long term.
Many people fail to recognize the importance of air quality management. However, the benefits of ensuring that your home or business has good indoor air quality include fewer health risks, improved productivity and greater energy efficiency.
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