IAQ News

Better IAQ: 5 Ways to Take Control

Indoor air quality has never been more important. So, if you want better IAQ in the buildings you own or manage, you need to take control. Here are five ways to help you get better indoor air quality. 5 Steps to Better IAQ 1. Understand the Indoor Environment As the COVID-19 pandemic grew in early 2020, the science was unclear as to how this deadly virus spread. However, studies later proved that the coronavirus spread, in part, by airborne transmission. Research also pointed to the fact that airborne viruses stay suspended in the air for hours at a time. It was also confirmed that the virus can survive on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to three days. Both air airborne and surface threats of SARS-CoV-2 impact the health of building occupants. Therefore, businesses must take steps to disinfect surfaces and clean HVAC systems. Proper air filtration not only limits harmful pathogens but also allergens such as dust and pollen as well as volatile organic compounds. Removing these particulates leads to better IAQ. 2. Categorize Your ...
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Building Coronavirus Testing Reduces Potential Spread

For most of 2020, we heard about the importance of people getting tested for COVID-19. That’s still true. Testing is a critical part of fighting the spread of the coronavirus. However, new technology makes it possible to test for the presence of the coronavirus in buildings as well. Building coronavirus testing plays a critical part in reopening and operating safely. At the forefront of research for building tests is Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg. He is the director at the University of Oregon's Institute for the Health and the Built Environment. The institute extensively tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in HVAC systems at the University's hospital. They detected positive samples from the pre-filters through to supply side air dampers. This data, returned within 24 hours, gives facilities managers control over the spread of the virus. As a result, they can close buildings, schedule remediation, and start contact tracing efforts Building Coronavirus Testing Students, employees, customers visiting shops, spas, and gyms—it's near impossible to test everyone every day, but it is possible to test buildings weekly or even ...
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Understanding IAQ: What We Learned in 2020

Understanding IAQ has never been more important to building health. For this reason, we continue our look back on the articles we shared this year and hope we’ve given you the information you need to tackle these issues. We talked about how bipolar ionization and tracking indoor air conditions improve building health. Prescriptive IAQ is another method we recommended. We shared an example of this in action with SPENGA fitness studio of Seminole, FL, a company we helped with a safe reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bipolar Ionization Efficacy The idea of bipolar ionization as a way to clean air has been around for over five decades. In fact, the ASHRAE Journal covered this topic back in 1966. In times of pandemic, however, renewed interest in this process is expected. This fall we told you about an experiment conducted by the Kitasato Research Center for Environmental Science. This Japanese company proved the effectiveness of bipolar ionization in reducing the H1N1 virus. A similar study in Spain by the HVAC company Tayra used bipolar ionization on a coronavirus ...
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Improve IAQ: Working Towards Cleaner Air in 2020

As we continue our look back at the topics we covered in 2020, the main goal is always to improve IAQ. And for good reason. After all, better air quality indoors leads to better occupant health. It reduces energy costs and boosts the bottom line. It‘s also effective in reducing the aerosol transmission of viruses. As spring turned to summer, we highlighted the importance of disinfecting buildings. We recommended monitoring and commercial duct cleaning as effective tools to meet this goal. We also discussed needlepoint bipolar ionization as a way to improve IAQ. Bipolar Ionization Improves IAQ Facilities and building managers faced big challenges in 2020. The biggest was preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Early on, we learned that increasing cleaning and disinfecting schedules lowers the risk of infection. This stresses the importance of bipolar ionization as a weapon against airborne viruses. We told readers about a study on aerosol transmission. The study determined that the coronavirus remains active as an aerosol for up to three hours. Aerosol droplets result from coughing, sneezing, and talking. To ...
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HVAC and Building Health in 2020

Over the past 12 months, we covered a lot of information on HVAC and building health. For example, we looked at the impact of HVAC systems on viruses. We shared some of our successes, such as the work we did with Generation Church to make their facility a Certified Pure Air Indoor Environment Building. We also discussed the importance of sustainable buildings and how healthy buildings are the key to economic recovery. How HVAC Affects Viruses As spring arrived during the pandemic, we stressed the importance of HVAC systems in creating good IAQ. A well-designed, maintained HVAC system keeps buildings and occupants healthy. When HVAC components collect dirt and debris, air quality suffers. Outdated or worn components also prevent good air circulation. Water intrusion raises humidity levels too. As a result, mold and bacteria may develop. Of course, the spread of viruses remains a top concern. Low humidity levels allow viruses to stay in the air longer. We referred to a CDC study that found at 23% humidity up to 77 percent of flu virus particles stay ...
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