According to the Environmental Protection Agency the average American spends 93% of their life indoors…. 87% is spent indoors at their work and home and the other 6% is spent in their automobiles. With that much time spent inside we should all be more concerned with Indoor Air Quality.
Recently Cambridge Engineering’s Doug Eisenhart published a post about IAQ that focused on the effects of temperature and productivity of a workforce because ambient air temperature is an IAQ factor. Doug was spot on with his comments about productivity and its correlation to temperature.
Along with temperature the quality of the air from indoor pollutants is also an important IAQ factor that needs our attention. Pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOC), particulates and carbon dioxide, to name a few, can not only affect short term productivity but can also have long lasting negative health consequences to those working in that environment.
One way to alleviate these types of IAQ problems is to have the building properly ventilated through the use of mechanical ventilation of filtered outside air. By using High Temperature Heating and Ventilation (HTHV) products that use 100% outside you have the ability to not only heat the space but also ventilate the space in an effort to help reduce the types of indoor air pollutants that can sometimes cause serious health problems. HTHV products, when combined with appropriate air filters offer a very energy efficient way to heat and ventilate a structure during the winter months when bringing in outside air is the most problematic.
There is plenty of information available that can provide guidance on indoor air quality and ventilation. Here are two that I have found useful:
1. OSHA publication titled - Indoor Air Quality in Commercial and Institutional Buildings can be located on OSHA’s website at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/3430indoor-air-quality-sm.pdf
2. ASHRAE publication titled - Indoor Air Quality Guide: Best Practices for Design, Construction and Commissioning is a free publication located on the ASHRAE website at https://www.ashrae.org/resources--publications/bookstore/indoor-air-quality-guide. The guide is designed for architects, design engineers, contractors, commissioning agents, and all other professionals concerned with indoor air quality.
ASHRAE also has available for purchase their ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2016 Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. Standard 62.1 specifies minimum ventilation rates for new and existing buildings that are intended to provide indoor air quality that is acceptable to human occupants and that minimizes adverse health effects. This publication is located on the ASHRAE website at https://www.ashrae.org/resources--publications/bookstore/standards-62-1--62-2.
Let us know what you think about the IAQ subject and look for more post on Indoor Air Quality in the future.