Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) describes the content of the interior air that could affect the health and comfort of your home or workplace. IAQ may be compromised by microbial contaminants, chemicals, allergens, and many other stressors that can cause health risks. Indoor air pollutants are associated with many health risks including asthma and allergies. Recent findings have demonstrated that indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air and is often a greater health hazard than outdoor settings. Using ventilation, filtration, and source control to dilute contaminants are the primary methods for improving indoor air quality in most buildings.

Maintaining a healthy and comfortable indoor environment in any building requires integrating many components of a complex system. Indoor environment problems are preventable and solvable. Practical guidance on how to manage your building for good indoor environmental quality is available.

On average a person breathes in 16,000 quarts of air each day. Indoor Air can become up to ten times heavier with pollutants such as:

Pollen: Airborne pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds can cause allergic reactions especially in spring and summer months. Dust particles in the home typically include human skin cells, pet dander and dust mites
Mold: Mold spores grow in warm and moist conditions and can pose many serious health risks. Smoke: Tobacco smoke can cause allergic and asthmatic attacks as well as discolor the interior of your home and furniture.
Pet Dander: Dander is shed from the body of your pets and may contain scales of dried skin, hair or feathers. Viruses: Viruses cannot be seen without a microscope but can cause diseases including the common cold, influenza and chickenpox

Did you know?
The average home collects about 2 pounds of dust per week!

 

Common particles and their sizes in microns

 

Particles are commonly measured in microns, a metric unit of measure. There are 25,400 microns in one inch. This dot (.) is approximately 1/64 of an inch wide and equals 615 microns.

Common Items and their respective particle sizes:
Postage Stamp, 1 inch high
25,400 microns
Eye of a Needle
1,230 microns
Human Hair
40 to 300 microns
Tobacco Smoke
0.01 to 1 microns
Beach Sand
100 to 2000 microns
Mold Spores
10 to 30 microns
Pollens
10 to 1000 microns
Household Dust
0.001 to 30 microns

 

Particles 101: Did You Know?…

  • Visible particles constitute only about 10% of indoor air!
  • Particle visibility depends on the eye itself. In other words, light intensity and quality, background and particle type.
  • Particles on furniture and those in a shaft of light are approximately 50 microns or larger.
  • It may be possible to see particles as small as 10 microns under favorable conditions.
  • The majority of harmful particles are 3 microns or less in size.
  • Particles of 1 micron or less adhere to surface by molecular adhesion. Scrubbing is generally the only way to remove them.
  • Larger particles tend to settle out of the atmosphere due to weight.
  • Smaller, “respirable” particles remain virtually suspended in the air until breathed in.
  • Approximately 98-99% of all particles by count are in the size range of 5 microns or less. These particles tend to remain in suspension or settle out so slowly that only quality air cleaners such as LakeAir electronic and HEPA air cleaners are effective in removing these particles.
  • The average person breathes in about 16,000 quarts of air per day. Each quart contains some 70,000 visible and invisible particles.

That’s over a billion particles per day that our lungs have to filter out!

  • The average home collects about 2 pounds of dust per week!
  • A 9′ x 12′ carpet or rug will collect an average of about 10 pounds of dust per year!