IAQ News

Best Indoor Humidity for Good Air Quality

As we head into the warmer months of the year now is a good time to take a look at the importance of indoor air quality to our health. Many believe that winter is the time to be concerned about respiratory viruses. The thinking goes that when the weather warms up, we spend more time outdoors and this lowers the risk. More clean air dilutes the virus, therefore a lower risk of transmission results. If this were true, however, the SARS-CoV-2 virus would have abated in the summer of 2020. Since that didn’t happen, it's important to look at other factors, such as humidity. Facilities managers in particular need to focus on what is the best indoor humidity for the health of building occupants. What is Relative Humidity? Humidity is a measure of water vapor in the air. The absolute humidity in a space is that mass of vapor divided by the mass of dry air. To determine relative humidity, we take the ratio of absolute humidity to the maximum possible humidity at a given temperature, expressed ...
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Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) Is Important and Here’s Why

The ongoing pandemic introduced the general public to many new terms and acronyms. While a term such as indoor air quality (IAQ) isn't new, many more people became familiar with it as a result of COVID-19. HEPA is another term now gaining a wider understanding. It relates to the effectiveness of air filters. CADR, which stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate, is also a term now entering the public consciousness. It's an important part of air purifier performance, yet many home and business owners don't fully understand what it is. Clean Air Delivery Rate Explained    CADR is a standard set by the independent Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). The rating is certified and verified by an independent laboratory and provides assurances to consumers that a particular air cleaning device works as promised. To put it in simple terms, CADR is a measure of an air purifier’s effectiveness to clean the air based on room size and the volume of air that passes through it measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The efficacy of room-air purifiers ...
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Optimized HVAC Performance Improves IAQ

Indoor air quality entered the national conversation with the onset of the COVID pandemic. For the owners of commercial buildings, however, IAQ has always been important. With the health of students, customers, and workers at risk, stakeholders look to their facilities managers for solutions for optimized HVAC performance. Optimized HVAC performance improves IAQ. It’s that simple. Improving the performance of the ventilation system creates a healthier indoor environment. Therefore, business owners and building managers must make the maintenance of that system a priority. That said, this doesn’t mean expensive upgrades or the replacement of the system. Instead, optimized HVAC performance requires a host of tools and methods. This includes regular inspections as well as cleaning and maintenance. A combined approach to IAQ uses all of the tools available to create healthy indoor air for everyone.  Benefits of Optimized HVAC Performance To help businesses and other organizations improve IAQ, ventilation rates, ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) devised Standard 62.1. This is the minimum ventilation requirement for commercial and institutional buildings. The biggest benefit of ...
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/ IAQ Learning Institute

School Deferred Maintenance Gets Federal Help

When times get tight, preventive maintenance seems like a pipe dream. For cash-strapped school districts, school deferred maintenance becomes the status quo. However, the dangers posed by the ongoing pandemic force many administrators to confront the aging mechanical system in their buildings. The good news is the billions of dollars available from the federal government for improvements to indoor air quality. Funds come from the Cares Act, the Coronavirus Relief Supplemental Act, the American Rescue Plan, and also the Infrastructure Bill.  All around the U.S. cities and states have stepped in to help administrators address school deferred maintenance. For example, the Detroit Public Schools Community District is using $700 million of its federal COVID funding to focus on its school buildings. Nearly $300 million of those funds are earmarked for building renovations including HVAC equipment. Schools in Idaho, New Hampshire, Maryland, Rhode Island, and New Jersey proposed similar funding strategies. With a focus on addressing school deferred maintenance, schools improve indoor air quality as a result. This prevents the spread of viruses, of course, but cleaner air ...
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IAQ Investment Provides Lasting Benefits

It’s not what you can see indoors that worries building managers. What you can’t see is just as dangerous. This is true for office buildings, classrooms, and medical clinics. In any indoor environment, what is invisible to the eye can impact the respiratory system and affect the health of building occupants. The pollutants in the air we breathe have both short- and long-term effects. Therefore, improving indoor air quality is a smart IAQ investment. Investment in IAQ Pays Off One benefit of IAQ investment is the improvement of cognitive performance. Clean air creates healthier students in schools and university buildings and healthy students perform better. As well, healthy workers have higher morale and are more productive as a result of cleaner air. Of course, clean HVAC systems cost less to maintain and run better too. This saves money on repair bills and energy usage. While it’s important to test, inspect, clean, and disinfect, that’s not where IAQ investment ends. Monitoring indoor environmental conditions is a critical part of a combined approach to indoor air quality. The Next ...
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/ IAQ Learning Institute

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