The HVAC industry is booming and indoor air quality is in high demand. It’s one of the fastest-growing industries in America and employs more than 600,000 people. But there’s a problem: many HVAC professionals don’t know what they need to know about indoor air quality (IAQ). That leaves commercial buildings and their occupants at risk of exposure to unhealthy conditions, from mold and pests to allergens and chemical contaminants. In this article, we’ll cover 6 commercial IAQ facts every HVAC professional who sells IAQ should share with every customer.
1. IAQ is 2-5 Times Worse Than Outdoor Air
According to the EPA, indoor air quality is 2-5 times worse than outdoor air. The reason why IAQ is so much worse has to do with pollutants from buildings, furniture, and personal care products that build up indoors. In buildings with poor ventilation systems, these problems are even more serious. To mitigate these problems, HVAC professionals should recommend the install of a high-quality ventilation system that adequately ventilates the building and filters the incoming air into the building.
2. Poor IAQ Affects Long and Short-Term Health Problems
Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can affect the long and short-term health of people in a number of ways. The long-term health effects are chronic and slow to develop, such as the increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, and cancer. The short-term effects include headaches, heartburn, drying or burning eyes, and coughing, and sore throat.
Molds and fungi emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that cause allergy-like reactions in many people. People with severe mold allergies may experience skin rashes, runny noses, and eyes with red itchy skin underneath when exposed to high levels of healthy molds. Some people also suffer from headaches and indigestion in response to mold exposure.
3. Furniture is the Likely Source of Bad IAQ
The quality of indoor air can be affected by furniture. Different types of furniture emit different chemical compounds, such as formaldehyde from cotton and volatile organic compounds from foam or compressed wood. One way to improve IAQ is to encourage the purchase of furniture that doesn’t release these chemicals into the air. Tell them to shop for certified non-toxic furniture, paints, and stains.
4. A Clean Indoor Space is Critical to Improving IAQ
A clean indoor space is essential to maintaining good IAQ. Keeping it clean means less mold, dust, and allergens will lead to poor IAQ. Here are some ways you can advise them to keep their indoor space clean and improve IAQ:
- Dusting: use dusters that capture dust instead ofstirring it back into the air.
- Clutter-free: keep the area they occupy the most free of clutter for better circulation.
- Invest in a good vacuum cleaner: preferably one with a HEPA filter.
- Sweep the floors daily: dust, dirt, pollen, and germs hitch a ride on the bottom of shoes and settle on office floors.
5. IAQ Affects Work Productivity
Sick building syndrome and building-related illness are directly related to poor IAQ and can take a toll on your employee’s productivity. Missed days translate to missed deadlines and opportunities. It might not sound like a lot of time, but spending just 20 minutes in an unventilated office could lead to lowered productivity and ultimately bring business losses.
The health effects of poor IAQ in office buildings include:
- Irritated eyes, nose, throat
- Allergies and asthma flare-ups
- Headache, fatigue, dizziness
- Reduced concentration and focus (leads to increased workplace errors)
As many companies are considering returning to the office, it’s important you tell them about the IAQ upgrades designed to help create healthier office buildings.
6. High Energy Costs are Linked to Poor IAQ
Higher energy costs are due to poor IAQ. As an example, the EPA has found that the humidity level in a building is elevated when there are mold spores present. This excess moisture allows condensation to form on windows and walls, reducing the effectiveness of insulation and increasing energy costs. High efficiency and low operating costs are achieved with indoor air quality upgrades.
Grow Your Commercial IAQ Business
Let clients know you can help improve their IAQ in a variety of ways. Oftentimes, customers might not know you can help them. This is why it’s important to let them know how you can help via marketing, website, ads, social media, etc. Six IAQ-related topics you should be covering in your digital marketing:
- Offer to test their building’s IAQ
- Help buildings improve indoor relative humidity with a humidity control system
- Explain why keeping their HVAC system running at all times is important
- Recommend installing better air filters, preferably a MERV 11 or 13 if their HVAC system can handle it
- Educate customers about the dangers of poor indoor air quality
- Share this commercial indoor air quality facts article with your customers!
If you’re a commercial HVAC contractor looking to increase your IAQ client base, providing them with interesting indoor air quality facts, advice, and services on how to achieve better IAQ is a great place to start. This ensures you’re capturing the attention of customers interested in IAQ.
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