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IAQ: What You Can Do
January 29, 2008 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Several studies conducted over the past 15 years have supported link between proper indoor air quality and increased occupant productivity. While this has been a long-held intuitive belief, the studies demonstrate the relationship between IAQ and productivity is real and positive.
Managers seeking to improve their facilities’ IAQ have a number of proven strategies at their disposal to achieve this goal.
One strategy is to rethink air filtration. Proper air filtration plays a very important role in maintaining good IAQ. Many designs for older HVAC system provide adequate filtration to protect the system’s coils and other equipment but not enough protection by today’s standards for building occupants.
Advances in both filtration designs and techniques have resulted in the ability to supply cleaner, purer air to building spaces.
By properly selecting the filtration media to match the space requirements, managers can improve system performance to the level required by occupants and operations without driving up system energy requirements.
In special applications where exposure of the building occupants to biological contaminants is a risk, managers can specify ultraviolet germicidal irradiation units for filtration system.
Ultraviolet light also has been effective in killing many types of mold and bacteria commonly found in buildings and HVAC systems. In addition to improving IAQ for building occupants, the systems have been found to limit the growth of microorganisms on HVAC system cooling coils. They also can help reduce static-pressure losses across the coils due to dirt buildup.
Whichever strategy managers choose, the focus should remain on making indoor environments healthier as a way of contributing to occupant comfort and productivity.