The Importance of Testing and Monitoring Your Indoor Air Quality
4 min. read
published: Monday October 30, 2023
Sharon Haeg, SitelogIQ VP of Development and Brian Peters, mySiteIQ Product Marketing & Management
The average person spends around 90% of their time indoors – making it critical to ensure the air inside is comfortable and safe. National Indoor Air Quality Month is an excellent reminder of the importance of monitoring your facility’s air quality and that routine assessments ensure healthy environments for communities to learn, live, heal, work, and shop without exposure to airborne illnesses or pathogens.
Indoor Air Quality Assessments
Your building could contain a range of containments – mold, formaldehyde, bacteria, asbestos, MRSA, COVID-19, microorganisms, and much more – so it’s important to regularly monitor and test your air quality.
The purpose of an indoor air quality (IAQ) assessment is to identify issues in the air quality of your facility and develop long-term solutions to promote the health and safety of your building occupants. This process involves collecting air samples, examining human exposure to pollutants, gathering samples on building surfaces, and studying the airflow.
Schools, commercial and industrial buildings, hospitals, higher education institutions, restaurants, local government facilities, housing units, and retail locations need additional care because of their high population and risk of pathogens. Factors as simple as a faulty HVAC system, resulting in airborne contamination, could compromise the IAQ of your facility.
During an IAQ assessment, specialists look for the following:
IAQ assessments will enhance the overall well-being of your building’s occupants and can help reduce odors, lower energy costs, improve performance and productivity, decrease adverse health effects, increase comfort, and more.
Indoor Air Quality and CO2
Building owners can monitor Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels in occupant spaces to provide real-time information on whether HVAC equipment is providing adequate ventilation.
Outdoor concentrations of CO2 can range from 350 to 500 parts per million (ppm) depending on the location and the time of year. In indoor environments, CO2 is used as a tracer gas to quickly, but indirectly, assess approximately how much outdoor air is entering a room in relation to the number of occupants.
Outdoor “fresh” air is important because it can dilute contaminants that are produced in the indoor environment, such as odors released from people and contaminants released from the building, equipment, furnishings, and people’s activities. Adequate ventilation can limit the buildup of these contaminants that cause discomfort, odors, “stuffiness” and health impact such as asthma.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has developed ventilation guidelines that should maintain a comfortable environment for most occupants. CO2 can be measured with relatively inexpensive, real-time digital air monitoring equipment. CO2 measurements have become a commonly used screening test of indoor air quality because levels can be used to evaluate the ventilation system.
Download our white paper to learn more about why we measure CO2 and what levels are considered safe.
At SitelogIQ, we specialize in indoor air quality solutions that will help your school, healthcare facility, government facility, or hospital create a safe and healthy space. When dealing with pathogens and contaminants, there is no one-size-fits-all method. Rather, we use a multi-tiered approach to mitigate ventilation concerns, implementing various short-term and long-term solutions.
mySiteIQ, our technology-enabled service offering, allows you to monitor your indoor air quality and CO2 levels to ensure you space remains healthy. It can also store and manage results from your indoor air quality assessments so you can benchmark and track improvements. Contact us today to learn how we can help you improve your indoor air quality while prioritizing, organizing, and optimizing your facility data under one digital roof.
Originally published in FMJ Magazine by Derek Hillestad, Ph.D., SitelogIQ Senior Facility Analyst Facility managers play a critical role in ensuring the functionality, comfort, safety, sustainability and efficiency of their built environment. Facility condition assessments (FCAs) are a great tool to understand where building assets and spaces rank among these categories and identify areas for […]
by Brian Peters, mySiteIQ Product Marketing & Management Technology Wanting to upgrade the schools’ lighting fixtures, Eden Prairie School District, which serves over 7,440 students located in the Twin Cities Metro area of MN, decided to have an energy assessment conducted to help select a more efficient lighting option. However, the assessment found much more […]
by SitelogIQ From working around your educational and athletic schedules, to implementing safety precautions – construction at K-12 school districts may involve additional considerations and planning to ensure work progresses safely without disruption to your curriculum. Limiting your construction schedule to the summer months may be the best option for your district. Our experts are […]