Three Reasons Indoor Air Quality Remains Important
The need to holistically assess and optimize indoor air quality (IAQ) as part of your building’s indoor environmental quality (IEQ) program represents more than just a pandemic-response requirement. It can be key to employee health/wellbeing and business success.
Optimizing IAQ, which includes temperature, humidity and the cleanliness of the air, represents a critical component of a holistic building plan that can significantly impact your business outcomes.
Here are three important reasons to assess your building’s IAQ as part of a holistic indoor environmental quality (IEQ) plan for your building:
- Outside air may no longer be the answer– Increased ventilation to bring in more outside air, a “go-to” solution for many years, may not always be the right solution for your building.
Although outdoor air quality trends have improved over the last few decades1, we are seeing an increase in regional air quality issues. Wildfires, smog events, and other challenges today mean that outdoor air may not always be the healthiest or most efficient solution.
For example, smog levels in Texas2 this summer brought some of the worst outdoor summer air quality in a decade. We are hearing from many building owners in the western United States who want to increase their building filtration to reduce the impact of wildfires on IAQ in their indoor spaces.
Also, increasingly hot and humid weather in the summers, and cold dry winters, resulting in higher energy required to treat the air before bringing it into our buildings. With the development and evolution of new air cleaning technologies, we may be able to provide high levels of IAQ using a combination of ventilation, filtration and air cleaners much more efficiently than a single solution alone.
- IAQ can impact employee productivity – The air quality in your building can affect how your employees feel as well as the quality of their day-to-day work. Air quality can impact employees’ cognition and productivity, including their response times and their ability to focus, according to a 2021 Harvard study3 that included participants from six continents.
- Thermal Comfort Impacts Well-Being – Thermal comfort plays a critical role in creating a satisfactory environment. Whether forced to adapt to a dry or damp environment or a sweltering or chilly office – uncomfortable employees are not focused, happy employees. Corporate Wellness4 magazine reports that a recent study by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety found “that even a minor deviation from thermal comfort may be stressful and affect performance and safety.”
Learn how you can take a holistic approach to your building’s IAQ and other components of IEQ to make sure you are offering the best possible working environment.
- EPA, Our Nation’s Air, Trends Through 2021
- San Antonio Express-News, Smog levels in Texas surge during heat wave, bringing worst summer air quality in a decade, July 14, 2022
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “Office air quality may affect employees’ cognition, productivity,”
- Gicante, Rebecca, “How Thermal Comfort Can Impact Your Bottom Line,” Corporate Wellness Magazine
About the author
Jeff Wiseman, Indoor Air Quality Portfolio Leader – Trane Commercial HVAC
As the Indoor Air Quality Portfolio Leader for Trane, Jeff leads the development and execution of Trane’s product growth strategy, investment priorities and strategic practices for developing and launching best in class IAQ offerings to address our customers’ indoor environment challenges now and beyond the pandemic. Jeff has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of South Florida and an MBA from Xavier University’s Williams College of Business