You know that moment when a person notes “I need to get some fresh air” and storms outside, escaping the indoors. This could mean that the air inside the building is too heavy, too strangling, too dirty, or too filled with aerosols or small particles to relieve one’s agony in a distressing situation.
What if the supposition was that the indoor air is almost as fresh as the outside air? It could be if the HVAC system is up-to-date and properly dimensioned, and of course, the building should be in good shape too.
The thing is, only now with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic more people have started to understand the importance of indoor air quality, now that the scientists have proven that the virus is airborne. Some even say that the effusive hygiene and disinfection is just a circus or theatre with no meaning.
Of course, it’s not. People have noticed that by good hygiene all the other annoying everyday diseases like flu have decreased prominently. But still, the air transmission routes, like indoor air, should be secured too.
As the world is trying to tackle outside air pollution, the tackling should also be done indoors now that the importance of indoor air quality is much more intelligible. Mainly, of course, the oxygen comes from the outside, but many factors affect the air on the inside too.
What kind of paint or wallpaper is used on the wall. Do you know what and how much your walls emit emissions? Some responsible manufacturers produce materials that are well studied and tested in case of emissions. You should check those up.
Do you have good air vents in your building? When was the last time the filters were checked or changed? With a dirty filter, the air moving through the vent might be even dirtier when it grabs a pile of pollutants from the filter.
You might say: “Ok, but I have an air cleaner”. Well, it doesn’t help very much if it just blows the dirty air back into your indoor climate, or if it is displaced in your apartment.
There might be air leakages between the walls into other apartments or even outside that might bring contaminated air into your house.
The hygiene in your house matters too. If there are a lot of dust, hair, dead skin cells and other dirt on the surfaces of your house, the air inside can’t be very healthy. So, it’s important to clean up often.
Other things like full trash bags and contamination produced by people and the viruses living in them affect the indoor air quality too. There are many factors to be monitored to maintain good indoor air quality.
In Finland, we have one of the cleanest outdoor airs in the world. We also have the best expertise in different fields like AHU & ventilation, air filters, purifiers, building materials, cooling & heating, data analysis, monitoring & sensors, and of course – research! That is why the Indoor Air Quality ecosystem (IAQe) was founded, so we can concentrate on this important issue. After all, we spend over 90 % of our lives indoors.
The next time you feel like getting some fresh air, pay attention if the air indoors is too hot, too heavy, too smelly, or produces different sensations in your respiratory system. Then it is time to improve your surroundings and the indoor environmental quality including the lifeline – air.
IAQe & Tamlink Ltd