You’ve likely heard the statistic that American’s spend an average of 90% of their time indoors. With so much time spent inside, it is important to improve the Indoor Air Quality in homes, office buildings, schools and more. But what exactly is IAQ, and what are the effects of poor air quality? Learn the basics with this ProTeam infographic. All facts sourced from the EPA.
Facts About Indoor Air Quality: IAQ 101
What is IAQ?
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.
Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.
A single exposure to poor IAQ can lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable.
Years of exposure to pollutants can lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer.
Sources of indoor pollution include tobacco products, building materials, cleaning supplies, central heating and cooling systems, and more. For further information, read the EPA’s article on Identifying Problems in the Indoor Environment here: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/identifying-problems-indoor-environments
Outdoor air can enter and leave a building through infiltration, natural ventilation, and mechanical ventilation. Poor ventilation can lead to health problems. According to the EPA, air may enter a home in several different ways, including:
- through natural ventilation, such as through windows and doors
- through mechanical means, such as through outdoor air intakes associated with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system
- through infiltration, a process by which outdoor air flows into the house through openings, joints and cracks in walls, floors and ceilings, and around windows and doors.
Cleaning for Health can improve indoor air quality, learn more here.