Isn’t Indoor Air Cleaner?
Maintaining indoor air quality is incredibly important. It aids in peoples’ comfort and contributes to their health. But did you know that indoor air quality can be two to five times worse — more polluted — than outdoor air? You might assume because there are cars, factories and other sources of pollution outdoors that indoor air quality is better, but that’s not always the case. This is critically important to consider because people typically spend 90% of their time indoors.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
So what are the sources of indoor air pollutants? According to the EPA there are many including asbestos, biological pollutants (e.g., mold), pressed wood products, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), cleaning products, unvented furnaces, trapped outdoor pollution, and animal dander.
With so many sources, some pollution will be unavoidable. It is, however, still important to minimize pollution and increase indoor air quality.
Increasing Indoor Air Quality
Obviously if your building has a mold problem then it needs remediation. But what are some preventative measures everyone should take to ensure indoor air quality?
OSHA identifies proper ventilation as the primary way of preventing and fixing indoor air quality issues. This should be noted especially because new constructions have a strong focus on energy efficiency, which typically requires emphasis on insulation and a tight building envelope.
The EPA goes further in identifying three core strategies for dealing with indoor air quality issues:
1. Source Control — don’t let pollutants in, and minimize the emissions of indoor sources. For example, purchase low-VOC products, and seal and abate areas with lead or asbestos.
2. Ventilation Improvements — indoor air needs to be refeshed and released. Allow fresh outdoor air to enter so it can be exchanged with stale indoor air that may contain pollutants. This can be as simple as opening windows.
3. Air Cleaners — can be as simple as filters. But also include HEPA filtrations or non-ozone producing air purifiers.
Benefits of Indoor Air Quality
What’s the big deal about indoor air quality? There are a number of scientifically documented benefits:
- Cleaner smell, reduced odors
- Lower energy costs
- Improved performance and productivity
- Decreased adverse health effects
- Decreased absence rates
- Increased comfort
Contact us to learn how ATC can help improve and optimize your indoor air quality.