An Indoor Air Quality Primer
Even though every day we face risks in our lives engaging in normal activities such as driving a car, flying in an airplane, working in certain hazardous jobs, and being exposed to outdoor environmental pollution even including over exposure to the sun we can’t avoid certain risks. Some of these risks we have to take because we consider the benefits outweigh the risk. Some risks we can avoid or at least attempt to lower the risk ratio by taking steps and one of these fields is in making the air we breathe of better quality to reduce health-related issues. Improving IAQ (the acronym for indoor air quality) is a step that each of us can make by becoming better educated and understanding the relationship of indoor air quality to our overall health. Just what is indoor air quality? Indoor air quality is actually a measurable concentration of pollutants in the air content of a structure and its impact and the effects that the contents of this air quality has on the occupants of the building.
The air quality may be good or it can be bad and actually in some cases can be life threatening, but in the majority of cases were indoor air quality becomes a problem the air is simply lending to an increase of breathing related problems or allergies. Other health-related issues such as fatigue, headaches, and a weakened immune system can be exacerbated by poor indoor air quality. These problems affect millions of people on a daily basis. This makes indoor air quality the buzzword of the 20th century and of utmost importance to become better educated if you suffer from any of these problems, that you obtain an education in what indoor air quality is and how the indoor air quality in your homes and businesses can be improved to a level that reduces the caustic effects of poor indoor air quality. Improving the indoor air quality in homes consists of three simple steps. Although the three items by themselves are simple the implementation of these three items can be complex depending on the structure and the occupants. IAQ or indoor air quality can be controlled in a house by controlling each of these three items either in a combination which is the best approach or by starting with the specific item that is the biggest offender. In the early 1970s before the oil embargo in the US that made us a nation conscious of energy consumption we build homes and offices that featured little in the way of weatherproofing.
That is to say our homes and offices were either designed on purpose to allow the introduction of inside air as the heating or air conditioning system ran, or were built that way because of the lack of understanding of the need to seal homes to create a higher energy efficiency. When fuel prices skyrocketed in the early 70s homeowners and business owners suddenly became obsessed with sealing up homes and businesses to create higher efficienct operating conditions. This mindset actually generated more of our indoor air quality problems luchtkwaliteit meten in huis than can be imagined. If you go back to the early 1900s most of our parents and grandparents will tell us that before the commonality of air conditioning homes theor homes were ventilated by simply opening a window. Even in the during the heating system use there was a mindset that having a little fresh air enter the house through a cracked window was good for one’s health and there really is a correct thought process that over the years has been abandoned. In the 1970s a mantra was started that promoted the solution to pollution was dilution. Although for the outdoor environment this is probably not a good suggestion for indoor environments there is much sage wisdom in that mantra. Sealing up our homes and businesses has allowed indoor air contamination to rise exponentially.
This in turn has led to a hypersensitivity of many of the allergens that in earlier years were not consid