Can IAQ Affect the Quality of Life?
Tampa, FL–Indoor air quality is an important aspect of today’s living. In modern buildings, air conveyance systems have replaced natural ventilation. This innovation minimizes the overall energy consumption by making buildings smart. However, defilement of natural ventilation within a building may provoke pollutants by limiting them within closed environments. These pollutants may lead to problems that impact quality of life within built structures. Some impurities of the ambient air within a living structure are listed as harmful, especially for children, the elderly and those suffering with health-related issues. They may be a-biological or biological in nature. A-biological contamination such as chemicals, gases, and others can pose a risk on occupants. Several sources of biological entities, such as bacteria, pollen grains, mold/fungi, trichomes, pets and other organic materials, can cause health-related problems as well.
Complications in indoor air quality may compromise quality of life. Particularly, health and hygiene of indoor environments affects overall quality of life including physical, functional, social and general health perceptions. Humans spend most of their time indoors (about 90%) and rely on built structures for shelter. It is estimated that a total of 10,000 liters of air enters the lungs every day for survival and proper function. It is obvious that the wellbeing of individuals is directly related with the quality of air which an individual breathes. Therefore, it is essential to understand the quality of air inside homes, offices, schools, daycare centers, public buildings, healthcare facilities and other manmade structures. Indoor activities such as combustion of fuels for heating, cooking, construction activities, water intrusion, furnishings of interiors, improper food storage, deferred housekeeping, and improper sanitization practices are identified as important pollutant emitters.
In absence of a universally accepted guideline for indoor air quality, a few basic approaches are beneficial for enhancing life quality by preventing poor indoor air quality. Test your built indoor environment for contaminants, properly manage building ventilation, keep relative humidity and temperature under the threshold (30-60% and 68-79°F, respectively), no smoke inside, inspect appliances regularly for leaks, malfunctions, etc. and fix if needed. Consider smart air purification devices and building health evaluations for occupancy periodically.