indoor air quality

Indoor Air Quality for Safe, Comfortable Spaces

Resources, Equipment, and Expertise to Help You Achieve Indoor Air Quality Goals

Over the past few years, indoor air quality (IAQ) has increasingly become a topic of concern for building owners and building operators. And as members of the general public are also discovering the importance of safe, healthy, and comfortable indoor environments, ensuring good IAQ year-round is essential.

To help commercial building operators safeguard indoor spaces and address indoor air quality issues, organizations like ASHRAE and the EPA have long provided information and guidance at the national level. And locally, the Safety Council of Northwest Ohio recently shared information from the Commit to CARE initiative, which provides resources and tools for businesses to help protect against the spread of airborne disease through indoor air quality awareness and efforts.

Why is Indoor Air Quality Important?

Ensuring good indoor air quality within our buildings is vital because most people spend about 90% of their time indoors as they go about their day in a range of living, working and visiting spaces. In addition to ensuring the comfort of our buildings, having proper ventilation helps to clean and refresh indoor air, which is essential for reducing the transmission of viruses that can be transmitted as airborne particles, such as COVID-19. According to the Commit to CARE’s resources, poor indoor air quality can lead to issues such as:

  • Irritation of eyes, nose, and throat
  • Headaches, dizziness, and fatigue
  • Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
  • Acute respiratory infection

Having proper ventilation helps to clean and refresh indoor air, which is essential for reducing the transmission of viruses that can be transmitted as airborne particles.

Common Questions About Indoor Air Quality

What is the difference between IAQ and IEQ?

IAQ, or Indoor Air Quality, is the assessment of the air inside a building and the effects the air quality might have on building occupants. For example, IAQ considers breathable air factors like dust, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, and VOCs.
IEQ, or Indoor Environment Quality, is about the range of conditions inside a building space that go beyond air quality. For example, IEQ factors include thermal comfort, moisture and dampness, acoustics, and even lighting.

What is the difference between sick building syndrome (SBS) and building related illness (BRI)?

The term “sick building syndrome” (SBS) refers to a condition that occurs when building occupants experience adverse health effects that appear to be linked to time spent in an enclosed space of poor indoor air quality. While there is no established medical test to diagnose sick building syndrome, according to the EPA, symptoms may include headache, dizziness and nausea, dry cough, and irritation of the eyes, nose or throat. In contrast, the term “building related illness” (BRI) is used when symptoms of a diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed to airborne building contaminants.

Building Ventilation is the Key to IAQ

Our commercial HVAC specialists will work with you to ensure that your building has proper ventilation, air dilution, air cleaning, and maximum efficiency of your HVAC system. Additionally, the proper installation, use, and MERV rating of your systems’ air filters are essential. MERV ratings indicate the efficiency of a filter’s ability to clean the air based on how much particulate matter and contaminants, such as mold and dust particles, could be caught by the filter. Learn more about how Campbell’s air filter selection and maintenance can support your indoor air quality goals.

State-of-the-Art Plasma Systems Clean the Air

Campbell offers multiple solutions to clean the air of indoor spaces – from properly fitted MERV8 filters to GPS Ionization treatments. The Global Plasma Solution (GPS) system is an innovative HVAC ionization treatment that uses charged ions to kill mold, virus, and bacteria within the air to keep building environments clean. For applications that call for cleaning the air of indoor spaces up to 1,500 sq. ft., like conference rooms, classrooms, and offices, we recommend GPS Air’s IDF-2, a ceiling-mounted ion distribution fan. Through GPS’s patented Needle Point Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) technology within the IDF-2, the unit helps to constantly clean indoor air of unwanted pathogens and odors, without producing harmful levels of ozone nor other byproducts.

Measuring Indoor Air Quality

Measuring and monitoring the air quality and/or the level of air pollutants in a commercial building is achieved by our team using state-of-the-art detection equipment and is often part of a building audit or maintenance program. Our goal is to detect, identify, and resolve any IAQ issues. To help, Campbell’s IAQ monitors have the ability to detect air pollutants like VOCs, radon, and particulate matter and can also provide an alert when an area is unsafe due to carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. Air quality monitors can also be part of your building controls or building automation system to detect, monitor, and report on specific air safety issues like CO2 as well as indoor environmental quality factors such as temperature and humidity.

Campbell Can Help

Maintaining a healthy and comfortable indoor environment requires assessing and integrating multiple factors within your building. The HVAC experts at Campbell can help you assess your IAQ, plan for maintenance, and create a building air quality action plan. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an on-site assessment of your building’s ventilation, filtration, and air quality.

Additional IAQ Resources

The Commit to CARE initiative to safeguard works spaces was created by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the Integrated Bioscience and Built Environment Consortium (IBEC) under a cooperative grant agreement funded partly by a CDC/NIOSH grant. Locally, additional resources about safety are available through the Safety Council of Northwest Ohio. Learn more about Indoor Air Quality from the EPA. Download the ASHRAE Indoor Air Quality Guide here.