Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical factor when it comes to providing a comfortable environment for people to live, work, and socialize. Two facts make this highly important: One, in the average environment, the air inside a house has more contaminants than that outside. Secondly, most of us spend about 90% of our time indoors, in that same space swirling with contaminants! Invariably, the quality of the air we breathe in impacts our health for better or worse. Bad air quality caused by pollution from various sources affects our health and well-being, and productivity at work.
Most people do not realize that indoor air quality is as important as cooling comfort. The assumption that a cool environment is ideal can be misleading; thermal comfort while neglecting air quality can lead to serious health problems such as breathing and allergic reactions. Sneezing spells, nausea, headaches at work means reduced productivity or even absenteeism when staff have to visit the hospital. Let’s consider the causes of indoor air pollution, its effect, and how to improve indoor air quality.
Causes of Indoor Air Pollution
The following is a list of indoor air pollutants otherwise identified as some of the major factors that contribute to indoor air pollution:
- Chemicals: Chemical pollutants are some of the most common and harmful air pollutants to your health. These include cleaning products, cigarette or tobacco smoke, and carbon monoxide gas to name a few.
- Biological contaminants: This category is also broad and includes mold, bacteria, viruses, pollen, pet dander and dust mites. These contaminants can usually be kept under control with proper ventilation, humidity control and general cleanliness.
- Particles: Airborne particles like dirt and dust that are stirred up by people, cleaning or remodeling can remain suspended in the air. When you inhale air, those particles are breathed in and can cause health issues.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) with HVAC Solutions
Here are some steps you can take to improve indoor air quality.
1. Maintain your HVAC or Air Conditioning Equipment Regularly
This can be as simple as cleaning or changing the air filters regularly. For more detailed maintenance services, you may need to clean evaporator, condenser coils, and the ducts (for ducted air conditioning systems). A qualified HVAC service professional will inspect the ducts for accumulated dust or sediments.
2. Use High Quality Air Filters in HVAC Systems
Where possible, use high quality air filters with high MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings to achieve optimal air quality. For instance, fiber-glass filters have a rating of 1 to 4; pleated filters have a rating between 5 to 8. The higher the rating, the more the size of particles it can trap thereby keeping your indoor air clean. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) and ULPA (Ultra-Low Penetration Air) filters are highly efficient filters.
Have your HVAC contractor inspect the filters and recommend higher grade types if necessary. The contractor will need to check with the manufacturer to determine compatible types.
3. Install An Air Purifier
An air purifier is a device that removes contaminants from the air to improve indoor air quality. The typical air conditioning or HVAC equipment comes integrated with air filters which are simple air purifiers. In like manner, air purifiers use HEPA filters and electrostatic fields to capture particles such as dust and germs (bacteria, fungi, viruses). Other types of air purifiers include:
- Ionizing purifiers
- Ozone generators
- UV Light
4. Install a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are appliances which reduce the amount of moisture (humidity)Win the air. here biological contaminants are a concern, indoor air quality can be improved by maintaining acceptable humidity levels. Bacteria, mold and dust mites thrive in humid conditions. Use dehumidifier to reduce moisture in indoor air.
Efficient HVAC Systems (HVAC) for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Contact on NOLTEC for your indoor air quality needs. We are certified world-class HVAC professionals with experience at installation, repair, and maintenance of various HVAC and air conditioning solutions in Nigeria.
For enquiries about air quality, ventilation, dust extraction or clean rooms, please call us on +234-810-304-7689 or +234-810-295-5408. You can also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the form below: