What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
Indoor Air Quality or IAQ is a measurement of the health and comfort of the air you breathe while inside your home, office or any other facility. What most people don't realize is that the air we breathe inside can be 20 times more polluted than outdoor air.
The next few minutes may well be the most important you’ve ever spent to educate yourself to protect you, your family and your home from indoor air pollutants.
When heating and cooling was first introduced, cleaning your air wasn’t even a consideration. In fact the first air filters (predominately made of metal mesh, crude fiberglass and plastic coated hog hair) were installed just to keep the equipment free of the dust and lint from your home. IAQ wasn’t even on the horizon. Several factors that have helped in other ways have caused indoor air to become more polluted:
Houses are built better than ever — or at least tighter than ever. At first blush, you’d think that’s why you would want a really tight home. After all, you want the conditioned air to stay inside. In fact, that’s part of the problem. Cooked fish last week, painted bathroom last month, kids been sick, dog needs a bath and it's all locked inside your home with you. It gets worse. Every time you turn on the bath fan, the kitchen hood, your clothes dryer and even some heating systems, your home actually starts sucking in unchecked damp or contaminated air.
We keep bringing more and more man-made products into the home: plastics, drywall, formicas, plywood, particle board impregnated with arsenic dioxide, synthetic carpets, man-made fabrics & upholstery, faux finishes, and so on. These all emit gases — sometimes for years and years — the results of which can be off-gassing and odors that range from a mild irritant to a full blown major health issue.
Times have changed. We now spend over 90% of our entire lives indoors. When was the last time you left the windows open to air the house out? If you’re like the rest of America, our heat and air is on year 'round.
We surround ourselves with every conceivable toxic and repeatedly expose ourselves to noxious materials, including:
- bug spray
- stain removers
- household cleansers
- air fresheners
- pet dander
- exotic plants
- cooking hoods that just circulate instead of removing smoke
- biological contamination and mold