Indoor Air Quality – Frequently Asked Questions

Article by Peter Dyment, Energy Consultant, Camfil Farr

Indoor Air Quality FAQs

There are many different ways our indoor air quality can become a problem. The basic properties of air that can easily vary are temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure.  Relatively small changes of temperature or humidity can make us feel uncomfortable.

Lastly but not least, air composition includes what we term air pollution. As we have become a crowded industrial nation this pollution has increased sharply over the last few decades.   Here are some frequently asked questions on Indoor Air Quality problems.

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Indoor Air Quality – Do you know the sources of IAQ problems in buildings?

As we all spend on average 90% of our time indoors it is important the quality of air we breathe and indoor air conditions we experience are good. We all like the air to be clean, and within a narrow band of comfortable temperature and humidity.  So what are the sources of poor indoor air quality in buildings?

IAQ Indoor air quality - office productivity

The comfort band varies from person to person but would generally be about 20-24 deg.C.room temperature and  40-60 %Relative Humidity for most people.

Clean air however can be more of a problem to get these days in urban locations where there are high levels of background air pollution. This pollution can be in either in solid particle or gas form.

In large public buildings there are contaminant sources from outside the building and inside the building. If the building is not well managed a high level of a contaminant or ‘cocktail’ of contaminants can cause bad health reactions from the building inhabitants leading to the term known as ‘Sick Building Syndrome’. It is worth considering the more common problem contaminants that lead to this situation.

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