Indoor Air Quality – Comfort & Health

In our recent blogs we talked about Pre-Winter Maintenance, HVAC & Back to school and some common maintenance issues. This time lets get into deciphering the Comfort and Health aspect of indoor air by focussing on the indoor air quality. We live in a world now, where ensuring healthy environment for our employees, family and friends alike is the top most priority.  

The Physiology of Comfort

It isn’t rocket science to understand that the heat generated and dissipated by the human body will vary based on factors like age, gender, activity level, clothing and size. But at the same time, it is a complex problem to solve or estimate the individual comfort needs. The fundamental factors that would determine a person’s comfort level are the temperature, humidity levels and the velocity of surrounding air. And while considering the processes within the human body, an individual’s metabolism rate, blood circulation and even hydration levels would be the determining factors to assess the right temperature & humidity settings.

Indoor Air Quality

ASHRAE standard “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality” outlines the minimum ventilation rates and other measures required to ensure that there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations in the space so that not only the occupants are comfortable but the environment is free from hazardous and discomforting odours from contaminants.  

Common Contaminants

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and Carbon monoxide (CO) are the two most common contaminants found in occupied spaces. CO2 levels increase when spaces are overcrowded as humans and animals exhale CO2 and carbon monoxide levels tend to generally arise when there is incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon from fuel and also smoking by occupants.

Adding an industrial set up to the above scenario will considerably alter the air quality by adding more harmful gases to the air and may lead to headaches and nausea as common symptoms.

VOCs, Mold and Particulate Matter are the next set of contaminants which can increase in concentration by a number of factors like use of building materials and finishes, cleaning agents, fungi growth, soot, smoke and decay of organic material like vegetables.

In totality, proper indoor air quality not only helps productivity in a work place by avoiding the sick building syndrome, a condition where the occupants feel physical problems because of the environment they are in, but also organizations also stay away from untoward situations like lawsuits, strikes and non retention of workers.

Adequate ventilation in the space helps the air quality by increasing the air changes and replacing the stale air by outside fresh air in the contained space.

Controlling Contaminants

For maintaining good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) ideally the following strategy might be very effective. Source elimination or modification to meet the desired goal, use of more outdoor fresh air to increase ventilation rates, space air distribution and schedules maintenance of the HVAC equipment.  

HVAC Preventive Maintenance Programs

Preventive maintenance programs can enormously reduce or keep the checks on ensuring the HVAC equipment are running at optimum capacity. The number of checks needed in a building and the equipment installed can be so many that it may be a cumbersome job for property managers and building owners to allocate enough time to. In these scenarios it is very efficient to get a dedication, professional and skilled HVAC contractor to maintain and repair your HVAC equipment.

At Air Track Inc, we offer Energy Saving Preventive Maintenance Programs to suit your needs. Maintenance programs help in controlling the operating costs over the life of an equipment. Call us at 905 330 4056 for all your industrial and commercial HVAC needs.  

We specialize in installation and maintenance of HVAC equipment including but not limited to: Gas Heating, Electric Heating, Heat Recovery Wheels & ERV, Boilers, Air Conditioning, Chillers, Heat Pumps, Dehumidification, Humidification, filtration systems & Full line of controls and electrical.