Indoor Air Quality and Our Health
Published by Lisa Hickey on
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality in and around buildings and structures as it relates to occupant health and comfort. Understanding and controlling common pollutants of indoor air can help reduce the risk of health issues.
Indoor air is continuously recycled, which can cause pollutants to be trapped or build up. Occupants' may experience short and or long-term health issues, leading to decreased productivity, absenteeism, and possible litigation. Typical symptoms include eye, nose, throat irritation, headache, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. The primary sources and potential health effects of indoor air pollution include:
- Excessive occupants with poor ventilation cause an increase in carbon dioxide leading to headaches, chest discomfort, throat irritation, and respiratory systems.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted gases from aerosol sprays, solvents, glues, cleaning agents, and paints. VOCs can have short and long-term detrimental health effects.
- Ozone enters the building from office printers/copiers or malfunctioning air treatment systems. Common symptoms are coughing, throat irritation, chest discomfort, and shortness of breath.
- Formaldehyde from pressed wood products may cause headaches, irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, and be a cause of cancer.
- Biological agents such as viruses, bacteria, dust mites, or fungi are developed from poorly maintained HVAC systems, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers. Occupants may experience eye, nose, or throat irritation, fever, Influenza, or other infectious diseases.
Governments are tightening down on the standards and enforcing monitoring on buildings with the increased awareness of the health risks of poor Indoor Air Quality. The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force recently developed new guidance to help facility managers improve Indoor Air Quality to slow the transmission of viruses from the HVAC system.
Sensors that are faulty or out of calibration affect the ability to control temperature, humidity, air quality, and building pressure. Sensor verification for operation and accuracy will improve system performance and ensure occupant safety, comfort, and productivity.
Belimo has reviewed the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force recommendations for improved Indoor Air Quality and has developed a checklist to help you evaluate field device operation. Damaged or non-functioning sensors can lead to degradation and poor system performance, causing energy waste, occupant discomfort, and increased costs. Belimo offers standard and customized retrofit solutions
to meet the Indoor Air Quality requirements of the ASHRAE reopening guidelines.
Belimo sensors offer superior reliability, easy installation, and seamless integration with major Building Automation Systems (BAS). We offer a complete range of sensors to measure temperature, humidity (relative humidity, absolute humidity, enthalpy, and dew point), pressure, CO2, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).