The pollutants that contaminate the air inside buildings tend to lurk almost everywhere. But if building owners, managers or occupants can gain a basic understanding of what the typical causes of indoor air contamination are, they stand a good chance at managing the problem better.
Here is a look at some of the most common causes of indoor air pollution and what can be done to counter the problem.
Polluted outdoor air
The air outside usually carries many contaminants. When outdoor air enters a building through open windows and exterior doors, it will cause the indoor environment to become contaminated as well. Dust, pollen, car exhaust fumes and chemical emissions from nearby industrial plants may all find their way into a building. While there's little building owners, managers or occupants can do to minimise the volume of pollutants generated outside their buildings, they can definitely do something to sanitise their indoor air. This can be achieved by maintaining a regular cleaning schedule to prevent dirt buildup as well as using air filtration systems.
Poorly designed and maintained HVAC systems
When properly designed, your HVAC system should provide optimal thermal comfort but also distribute sufficient quantities of outdoor air to meet air circulation needs of all building occupants. Aside from that, the system should remove harmful odours and contaminants from the indoor air. If the HVAC system in a building is improperly installed and not taken care of, it will not work to clean the air it circulates as desired. The recirculated air will be dirty and the room being heated or cooled will feel stuffy. Therefore, people using HVAC systems should engage the services of HVAC contractors to make sure their systems work efficiently.
Most people are actually unaware that a significant amount of indoor air contamination is a result of their own doing. While building managers may have no say in the type of perfumes that the people within their premises wear, they can definitely prohibit air-polluting habits such as smoking. Human traffic can disturb the airborne dirt particulates on carpeting or any other type of flooring, making the indoor air unsafe to breathe. For buildings located in regions with an abundant supply of fresh air, an inexpensive yet effective way to neutralise indoor odours and pollutants is dilution. Windows and exterior doors should be kept open during the day so as to allow clean fresh air inside to dilute the contaminated air.
Click here for more information about creating and maintaining better air, which can in part be achieved by hiring air quality consultants.