Let's say YES to a better Indoor Air Quality
#IAQmatters - Let's say YES to a better Indoor Air Quality. Care for the next generation.
An online press conference concerning the #IAQmatters campaign was held on Monday 24th April, 2017. Over the past 2 years, Indoor Air Quality has been a burning issue due to increasing environmental pollution therefore this campaign combines multitude of measures and recommendations to ba launched throughout 2017, 2018 and beyond. #IAQmatters geographically covers Europe and Middle East relying on partnership between the two regions. Portal www.IAQmatters.org is the campaign’s central hub.
Why we should all care? - #IAQmatters.org
There are many reasons why we all should fight for a better tomorrow and why #IAQmatters to all of us. People are aware that outdoor air pollution has a very bad impact on their health but the same goes to indoor air pollution which can cause negative health effects as we spend almost 90% of our time indoors. A bad indoor climate affects all spheres of life such as our children’s health, work productivity, study performance human comfort.
Unfortunately, statistics are alarming!
- WHO claims that air pollution is killing 1.7 million young children. Harmful exposure can start in the womb, and then continue if infants and toddlers are exposed to air pollution.
- Loss of work performance caused by poor air quality due to increased pollution load/decreased ventilation is experimentally estimated to be ~5%. The cost of providing a good indoor air quality in office buildings is less than 1% of the labour cost.
A boost of Work performance boost by 5% means:
25 minutes longer working days
Reduced number of breaks in work
10 sick leave days less during the year
More than half of 742 classrooms investigated in Denmark were inadequately ventilated. A good Indoor Air Quality is an important component of a healthy indoor environment, and can help schools reach their primary goal of educating children. Increase of learning performance by 12% means one more year of education for your child.
- Using advanced filtration allows for reduction of the burden of disease by 42 %. Outdoor air pollution plays a significant role for the indoor exposures. Over 90% of Europeans live in areas where WHO Guidelines for PM2.5 are not attained. Efficient filtration of outdoor air allows for specific control of this component dominated by particles.
Investments in productivity rise are highly profitable.This is because:
Labour cost is from 25 to 100 times higher than energy cost
Labour cost is from 25 to 100 times higher than maintenance cost
Labour cost is roughly 4 to 15 times higher than renting cost
Labour cost is roughly 4 to 40 times higher than construction costs
A lot of people talk about Indoor Air Quality and there are various studies proving why #IAQmatters. Unfortunately, some HVAC suppliers exploit Indoor Air Quality as a pure marketing instrument without being able to explain how their products contribute to a healthier indoor climate.
When did you last change your air filter?
State-of-the-art air filters are key to ensure a healthy indoor air quality while ensuring a lower energy demand of your ventilation products. Make sure that your air filters perform as they should and change them regularly.
As the only performance certification for air filters worldwide, the ‘Eurovent Certified Performance’ label for air filters provides for a good indication whether you have a good performing air filter — on an easy to understand A (best performing) to G (worst performing) rating scale following latest standards and legislation.
Next time you buy an air filter, remember to ask whether the filter is Eurovent certified.
When was your ventilation equipment last cleaned?
Keeping HVAC equipment clean and hygienic is very important to ensure a healthy indoor environment.
Your building service provider or maintenance personnel should ensure that your HVAC equipment is always clean. No mould, dirt, dust or particles should infiltrate your units.
Remember that cleaning should never take place with a running unit! Ensure that all necessary safety measures are taken as provided by your supplier.
Do you ventilate correctly?
It is important that you ensure a constant renewal of your indoor air. Studies have proven that the air in rooms should optimally be exchanged with fresh air six times per hour. Unfortunately, this is far less in most buildings. Especially in the Middle East, often only a recirculation of the indoor air through room air conditioners takes place with no air exchange at all.
At first sight, the most logic solution would be to open windows. However, it is not. Why? In most locations, the incoming outdoor air is polluted as well. When opening the window, you let particles inside that you’d want to avoid.
The key is thus state-of-the-art mechanical ventilation equipment that exchanges, filters, and recovers the air. Does your building have what it takes to provide a good indoor air quality?
How does your air handling unit look from the inside?
An air handling unit or air conditioning system might look good from the outside. Yet, it pays off to have a closer look inside.
An HVAC supplier can produce a nice unit, but can also save on the quality of the installed air filter, make it difficult to clean the unit due to sharp corners, or install low quality fans.
High quality components are of utmost importance to ensure a proper functioning of your HVAC equipment that can not only ensure a good indoor air quality, but also reduce your energy bill.
Does your ventilation unit have a pressure drop indicator and an air flow meter?
The easiest and safest way to figure out whether your filter needs to be replaced or not is through a pressure drop indicator (or manometer). The higher the pressure drop after the air filter, the worse is the filtration and energy efficiency.
The dimensioning and the operation of almost every air handling unit depends on the air flow rate. It is unusual to put ventilation systems into service without an effective control of the flow rate during operation. This would be comparable to driving a car without a speedometer, fully relying on your instincts.
An air flow transmitter is showing the current flow of a ventilation and air conditioning system to the operator. Additionally, the air flow value is transmitted to higher-level control technology. The result is a demand-controlled, more energy-efficient and healthy unit.
Do you possess an air cleaner/purifier?
Especially in residential buildings, air cleaners/purifiers can be useful tools in improving the indoor air quality of your rooms in addition to mechanical ventilation systems.
However, not each of these products does what it promises. In some cases, the wrong air cleaner can even worsen your air quality.
Ensure that you only invest in state-of-the-art equipment with high quality and exchangeable air filters. It might be a bit more expensive, but will pay off in the mid- and long-term.
How humid is your building?
It is important to maintain a healthy level of humidity, which can be achieved through mechanical ventilation equipment.
Dust mites and mould love moisture. Keeping humidity around 30%-50% helps keep them and other allergens under control. A dehumidifier (and air conditioner during summer months) helps reduce moisture in indoor air and effectively controls allergens.
An air conditioner with a high-quality filter also reduces indoor pollen count.
Is your HVAC equipment certified?
Have a look at our dedicated certification section, which introduces tools that can support you in choosing high performing ventilation and air conditioning equipment that contribute to a better indoor climate.
We should all contribute to increasing awareness of the importance of indoor air quality.