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The Importance of IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) and How You Can Improve It

indoor air quality is critical

When most people think of poor air quality, polluted metropolitan areas and large emission-spewing industrial factories come to mind. While these are undoubtedly problematic, indoor air quality may have an even more significant impact on an individual’s health and well-being. By some estimates, indoor air pollution is 2x to 5x higher than outdoor pollution.

Indoor air quality (or IAQ) refers to the air quality inside residential and commercial properties. Though many would expect indoor air to be pollution-free, the reality can be much more concerning. This article will explain why IAQ is vital to the health of people who regularly spend time inside a building and provide solutions to improve it.

Indoor Air Quality and Its Impact on Health

People diagnosed with asthma or severe allergies are typically more sensitive to suboptimal indoor air quality than those without preexisting health conditions. But in many cases, exposure to polluted air can cause short and long-term issues, including headaches, throat and eye irritation, dizziness, and excessive fatigue in previously healthy individuals.

Because the symptoms above are commonly associated with everyday illness – like a cold, for example – it’s easy to miss the cause. But, in some cases, more dangerous pollutants like radon or asbestos can cause long-term problems, including respiratory diseases and even cancer.

The concentration of pollutants significantly affects the severity of the health problems caused by poor IAQ. An indoor air quality meter can be a great tool that helps property owners, contractors, and building residents monitor pollution levels in their indoor spaces.

The Causes of Poor IAQ

Modern ventilation systems cycle outdoor air through a building’s HVAC systems which helps to dilute gases or other particles responsible for indoor pollution. While the causes of diminished IAQ vary, some of the most common are fuel-burning appliances, tobacco smoke, building materials like new flooring or carpet, cleaning chemicals, pet dander, and insulation containing asbestos, among many others. In addition, uncleaned air ducts can trap pollutants and disperse them throughout a building over time.

Because higher concentrations of pollutants are more harmful to human health, it’s crucial to equip buildings with systems that don’t just cycle air between the indoors and outdoors but also purify it along the way.

How You Can Improve IAQ

Although the all-too-common IAQ problem isn’t going to disappear on its own, there are plenty of ways to mitigate the risk of harmful indoor pollutants. For example, installing an air cleaner system from brands like Aprilaire or Fresh-Aire make air purification easy with little maintenance necessary.

Contractors or homeowners can choose from a range of air cleaning products at various price points, which means everyone has an IAQ solution regardless of their budget. To purify air via building ducts, options like Fresh-Aire’s UV LED System for Mini-Splits or the APCO In-Duct Air Purification System are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install and are ideal for smaller spaces. For larger indoor areas, the Aprilaire 5000 Air Cleaner removes up to 94% of asthma-triggering dust, 98% of airborne bacteria-sized particles, and 99% of pollen and airborne mold.

If you’re upgrading a property with the latest connected or “smart” home technology, there are great options in the IAQ space. For example, in buildings using multiple IAQ units simultaneously, the Aprilaire Universal wi-fi Thermostats with IAQ Equipment Control Module offers control of up to four accessories through a wi-fi connection and smartphone app from anywhere.

Finally, it’s essential to consider the impact of humidity on IAQ. Excess moisture (humidity levels of 50%) diminishes indoor air quality because it provides the perfect environment for dust mites and bacterial growth. If humidity is a concern, a dehumidifier can help you maintain healthy moisture levels that facilitate cleaner air.

Better Indoor Air Quality Starts at Johnstone Supply

It’s easy to overlook the importance of indoor air quality when installing an HVAC system, but ignoring IAQ can have serious health consequences in the immediate and distant future. Johnstone Supply has the latest, most efficient air quality equipment that helps homeowners, employees, and rental property occupants breathe easy.

Comfort is key in HVAC, but healthy air should always be the top priority. For more information on wholesale Aprilaire or Fresh-Aire products, get in touch with a Johnstone Supply team member today.


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