The Current State of Indoor Air Quality
In the modern world, the significance of indoor air quality (IAQ) has never been more apparent.
As we spend more time indoors, the quality of the air we breathe has become a critical concern.
This growing awareness has led to a surge in demand for indoor air quality experts. Businesses are now recognizing the importance of maintaining optimal indoor air quality, not just for the health and well-being of their employees and customers but also for the overall productivity and success of their operations.
Whatever role you may already play in the HVAC industry, or a different home service industry, indoor air quality is an essential trade to add to your business or skill set. These professionals are much more than their trade. In many ways, they’re the champions of home and building health–ensuring that the spaces we live and operate in on a daily basis are as healthy as possible.
If you’re already in the industry, you likely notice the shift in demand from solely HVAC to both HVAC and IAQ options.
You may want to up your game, differentiate yourself from the competition and stand out with current in-demand skills.
Or, perhaps, you’re from a different trade or industry but see the need for IAQ or have the ease to add it to your company’s offerings.
Whatever the reason–it’s clear that now is the time to become an indoor air quality expert. Thankfully, the demand for these skills can meet your interest.
Why Indoor Air Quality Matters Now
The Impact of Indoor Air Quality on Health
Indoor air quality has a direct impact on our health. Poor IAQ can lead to a range of health issues, from minor irritations like headaches and fatigue to more serious conditions such as respiratory diseases and even cancer.
The Role of Indoor Air Quality in Business Operations
Maintaining good indoor air quality for businesses is not just a health issue—it’s a business issue. Poor IAQ can lead to decreased productivity, increased sick days, and a negative impact on the company’s reputation. On the other hand, businesses that prioritize IAQ can see benefits such as improved employee performance, reduced healthcare costs, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
The Future of Indoor Air Quality in Business
As we move forward, the role of indoor air quality in business operations is set to become even more significant.
With increasing awareness about the importance of IAQ, businesses are expected to invest more in improving their indoor environments.
This is where indoor air quality experts come in. These professionals have the knowledge and skills to assess, monitor, and improve indoor air quality, making them an invaluable asset for any business.
Indoor Air Illnesses
Building-related illness (BRI) refers to illness that doctors can trace back to a specific building and time. They are the result of exposure to identifiable airborne substances and poor ventilation. Legionnaires disease is an example of a health issue that falls into the BRI category. Legionnaires disease is a severe form of pneumonia that spreads through water sources, both indoors and outdoors. It is caused by the specific legionella bacterium. Indoors, this microscopic bacteria can multiply in plumbing and HVAC systems. The infection then spreads by inhaling the miniscule particles simply through everyday actions in contaminated indoor spaces. Experts estimate that up to 70,000 people suffer from this underdiagnosed illness every year. Other building-related illnesses include types of asthma and inhalation fever.
Scientists advocate for stronger policies to ensure buildings and indoor spaces adhere to water management and air quality guidelines. As indoor air quality experts, you would be able to provide customers with recommendations to prevent and solutions to fix such conditions.
Sick Building Syndrome and Tight Building Syndrome
Sick building syndrome, or SBS, is a general term for illness experienced in a building that causes one to feel sick. SBS is when someone can link their symptoms to a specific indoor space–whether that is a home, office, business or building. Any indoor space that a person can identify as the source for consistent symptoms can generally refer to their illness as sick building syndrome. SBS and BRI differ because the factors causing SBS symptoms are not necessarily known. Considering most that report SBS symptoms improve once they’ve left the building, it is still considered an obvious air quality issue.
A similar health concern is TBS, which stands for tight building syndrome. Scientists theorize that the feelings associated with TBS come from our HVAC systems. Modern buildings can often have HVAC systems that continuously recirculate air, instead of bringing in fresh air using mechanical ventilation. Scientists and health experts alike are noticing a common illness among those who live and work in buildings where the air is only recirculated. These individuals suffer from nose, eye and throat irritation, as well as fatigue and headaches.
Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality starts with the HVAC system. If a building has an outdated or poorly maintained HVAC system, then contaminants can and will abound. Where harmful particles can grow and circulate, illnesses will follow. Thankfully, there are many possible HVAC system upgrades to choose from. Hence, there are many different aspects of indoor air quality control to learn. This includes air filter upgrades, whole-home or building purification systems, mechanical ventilation systems and ensuring proper humidity levels through humidity control.
Indoor air contamination and pollutants originate from several sources. Sometimes, poor indoor air quality originates from the material sources themselves in a specific space. Possible source options include:
- Construction materials: Buildings that have had a recent project will have new materials like glues, particle boards, chemicals, paint and fiberglass that impact the air quality.
- The interaction of building materials and furnishing can affect air quality as well. For example, the combination of humidity and poor air circulation along with inadequate temperature can lead to mold growth and poor air quality.
- Even the number of occupants can affect air quality. The more people in a building, the more carbon dioxide produced. This means that an indoor space with many people needs a robust air system.
The Surge in Demand for Indoor Air Quality Experts
The rising awareness about the importance of indoor air quality has led to a surge in demand for IAQ experts.
These professionals are equipped with the knowledge and tools to assess and improve indoor air quality, making them essential for businesses looking to enhance their indoor environments.
The demand for these experts is expected to continue growing as more businesses recognize the importance of IAQ.
The Role of Indoor Air Quality Products
In the quest for improved indoor air quality, various products have emerged that help in maintaining and improving IAQ. Here are some notable ones:
Comfy-Light: The All-in-One Solution
Comfy-Light is a unique product that combines a heating/cooling vent with a recessed lighting fixture, providing an all-in-one solution for residential homes. This innovative design offers a reliable method for improving airflow without compromising aesthetics.
Lifebreath: Fresh Air Ventilation for Homes and Businesses
Lifebreath offers premium indoor air quality systems that provide fresh air ventilation for both residential and commercial spaces. These systems replace stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air, creating a healthier environment within buildings.
Castle Filters: The Ultimate One-Year HVAC Air Filter Solution
Castle Filters offer a unique one-year HVAC air filter solution designed specifically for multi-family properties and apartments. These filters provide unmatched performance and convenience, with 10x more surface area for unparalleled dust-catching capabilities.
Zephyr: High-Efficiency Air Cleaners
Zephyr’s VGF Series offers high-efficiency MERV 13 media air cleaners that are perfect for replacing traditional 1” filters. These air cleaners provide superior filtration and last up to 6 months or longer, making them a cost-effective solution for maintaining indoor air quality.
Indoor Air Quality Expert Training
Whether you understand the ins and outs of HVAC installation and maintenance already, or perhaps are new to the entire industry, the need for IAQ experts is present. Adding the expertise of indoor air quality to your skill set or company’s offerings will benefit you and make your business even better and more sought after. It is an important responsibility to ensure home and building occupants with clean healthy air.
IAQ training informs about the contaminants that cause indoor air illnesses and the multi-pronged approach to eliminate them. You’ll learn how you and your team can start the conversation with clients and make thoughtful recommendations. The market is expressing a high demand for quality air experts. It wants people who can keep them healthy by providing cleaner air. We can help you answer it.