Benefits of IAQ in New Construction

There's no doubt that builders and HVAC contractors need to work together to install IAQ upgrades in homes. Too often, we see builders trying to do the work themselves, or worse yet, not doing anything at all to improve the air quality in their homes. Meanwhile, HVAC contractors are often left out of the building process, struggling to get ahead on IAQ problems and how they can best help their clients. By working together, both groups can ensure that homeowners get the best possible results from their IAQ upgrades.
Last Updated on August 8, 2022

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As a business owner, you understand the importance of making wise investments. You likely also realize that not all investments are equal. Some offer short-term benefits, while others have long-term implications. When it comes to your company’s bottom line, which is more important?  In many cases, the long-term benefits far outweigh any short-term gains. This is certainly true when it comes to installing an indoor air quality (IAQ) system in new homes. By paying attention to these details during the planning stages of your next project, you can enjoy significant rewards down the road. Keep reading to learn more about why this matters and what you can do to improve your business’s reputation and bottom line.

Indoor Air Quality Regulations for New Construction

The two agencies that provide insight into indoor air quality are OSHA and EPA. They do not regulate it, but they have lots of valuable information on their site. It’s there to help people understand the systems in a home or building with new IAQ technology. ASHRAE provides insightful recommendations on how you could improve IAQ in buildings.

On the other hand, the Environmental Law Institute provides a summary of state laws concerning IAQ that can be a guideline in designing an IAQ system in new homes.

  • “Washington’s Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality Code requires a mechanical whole-house system to supply outdoor air. The code applies to new residential construction including single- and two-family homes and townhouse homes up to four stories, as well as certain additions and alterations.”
  • “Maine’s Model Building Energy Code for new residential construction incorporates ASHRAE Standard 62.2. The model code applies to detached one or two-family dwellings and certain attached dwellings of three stories or less, but excludes additions, alterations, renovations and repairs. Although the code itself is not mandatory, if municipalities within Maine choose to adopt a new energy code, they must adopt the state model code.”

Enhance Buyer Experiences with IAQ Systems

For many people, buying a new home is an exciting and daunting experience. There are so many things to think about, from the location of the property to the state of the economy.

However, one crucial factor that is often overlooked is indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality can cause a range of health problems, from headaches and fatigue to respiratory infections. You can help them make an informed decision about their purchase. Indoor air quality upgrades can provide many benefits, from improved health to increased comfort. In addition, they can also help to improve the resale value of the property. As a result, discussing the benefits of IAQ upgrades with new home buyers is an important way to enhance their experience.

Why Building Indoor Air Quality into New Homes is a Great Idea

If your client is on the fence about installing an IAQ system in their new house, discuss these advantages.

  • Better sleep. A clean home is less likely to harbor allergens and pollutants that cause irritation to your respiratory system. They can get a better night’s sleep by inhaling cleaner and healthier air.
  • Removes airborne contaminants and allergens. Allergies and other respiratory problems can be caused by airborne particles such as dust mite allergy, mold, mildew, and dust. In addition to regular vacuuming and appropriate ventilation, IAQ solutions remove and minimize of many of these pollutants, resulting in cleaner air for you and your family to breathe.
  • Clear mind, better mood. According to the American Psychological Association, “Researchers have found that high levels of air pollution may damage children’s cognitive abilities, increase adults’ risk of cognitive decline, and possibly even contribute to depression.”
  • Lowers utility costs. IAQ systems help HVAC systems to operate more effectively. It can enhance ventilation, humidity, and airflow. A more efficient system also means less money spent on energy.

A Shift Towards IAQ. The most successful HVAC contractors are those who have been able to adapt to this shift and make IAQ a focus of their business. Learn what they’re doing right ➜

Develop a New Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan

As any builder knows, the air quality inside a new construction project is important to the health of the occupants. Unfortunately, poor IAQ can be a problem in even the most well-constructed buildings. A variety of factors can contribute to IAQ issues, including:

  • off-gassing from construction materials
  • dust and debris generated during construction activities
  • insufficient ventilation

Step-by-step, a construction indoor air quality management strategy protects the indoor air during construction and pre-occupancy. Using guidelines from various sources such as OSHA, EPA, ASHRAE, and SMACNA can help.

To help ensure that IAQ problems are avoided, developing and implementing an indoor air quality management plan (IAQMP) during construction is important. An IAQMP should include a variety of measures designed to minimize IAQ problems, such as using:

  • low-emitting materials
  • controlling dust and debris
  • providing adequate ventilation 

By taking these steps, builders can help to ensure that their projects meet or exceed indoor air quality standards.

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