How Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Products Enhance Occupant Satisfaction

Posted on Thursday Nov 02, 2023 at 12:40PM  

We tend to think of indoor environments as clean spaces that offer an escape from outdoor air pollution. Even so, if the indoor air quality (IAQ) is poor, occupants might be exposing themselves to even more harm and discomfort than they experienced outside.

As a property owner, keeping building occupants comfortable is one of your primary goals. There’s a well-established link between good indoor air quality and higher rates of occupant satisfaction, so a close eye on IAQ is a great place to start. If you're not sure where to begin, these strategies and affordable ways to improve IAQ are an excellent starting point.

Understanding IAQ

IAQ, or the quality of the air in and around a building, involves several key components, including:

  • Air pollutants, such as allergens and mold
  • Ventilation
  • Temperature
  • Humidity

When a building owner fails to monitor and control IAQ, occupants feel uncomfortable, become less productive, and are more likely to get sick. In some cases, poor air quality can prove fatal. According to the World Health Organization, household pollution caused approximately 3.2 million deaths in 2020.

Uncontrolled IAQ also causes building owners to receive more frequent complaints and repair requests, and they often see higher turnover rates. When you optimize air quality, building occupants feel more comfortable, triggering a variety of other positive outcomes. Satisfied tenants work more efficiently and have a more positive outlook. This translates to a better reputation and more consistent occupancy for your building

Better IAQ also has financial benefits. While you might have to make an initial investment in air quality systems, you'll ultimately save money by improving energy efficiency and avoiding costly repairs.

Factors Influencing IAQ

Air quality is complex because there are so many different factors that influence it, such as:

  • Building design
  • Ventilation systems
  • Pollutants from indoor sources
  • Outdoor air quality and weather conditions

With the right technology, building owners can continuously monitor air quality, improving occupant satisfaction and avoiding conditions such as sick building syndrome. However, before you implement an IAQ solution, you should first conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current air quality.

IAQ Solutions for Enhanced Occupant Satisfaction

It's not always easy to make people happy, but IAQ solutions make it a simpler task. Focus separately on each aspect of air quality to improve occupant satisfaction.

Effective Ventilation Strategies

Ventilation pulls outdoor air into a building and expels stale air outside. To keep the air fresh and safe, the building has to ventilate properly.

Functioning windows are a simple answer, but some commercial buildings have windows that you can't open. Weather conditions can also make open windows impractical. In those cases, the HVAC system is generally responsible for ventilation, and installing efficient and effective ventilation and filtration systems is vital.

Controlling Indoor Pollutants

Just as smoke and smog pollute the air outdoors, indoor spaces are also susceptible to pollutants. These substances can affect people's breathing and make them sick:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in substances such as paint or air fresheners
  • Allergens, including dust mites and dander
  • Mold, which develops due to excessive moisture
  • Gasses, such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide

You can minimize indoor pollutant levels with source control. For example, monitor humidity levels to prevent mold growth and choose low-VOC products.

Despite your best efforts, there may still be pollutants present in the air. Use air purification systems to reduce them and prevent them from affecting building occupants.

Monitoring and Maintenance

If you inconsistently or irregularly check the air quality in a building, you could be missing important information. For instance, if you only measure carbon dioxide levels once a week, you might not realize they're elevated. In the meantime, business employees in the building have become less productive and are struggling to focus.

Continuous IAQ monitoring keeps you up-to-date on the conditions in space. While this might sound like an exhausting chore, sensors and data analysis make it easier and less expensive than many building owners realize.

Installing environmental sensors to improve HVAC systems is an essential way to achieve optimal IAQ. These sensors will alert you when the system is malfunctioning and allow you to implement a more effective preventive maintenance plan.

Implementing IAQ Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide for Building Owners

To take advantage of all the benefits of IAQ solutions in your building, follow these steps:

  1. Conduct an IAQ assessment: Gather baseline data to determine what IAQ solutions you need. Measure current air quality levels and conduct a visual analysis, looking for signs of water damage or mold.
  2. Develop a customized IAQ improvement plan: Use this information to create an improvement plan that's tailored to your needs. Prioritize the air quality issues that are most pressing, such as those that could affect occupants' health, and consider your budget.
  3. Select and install appropriate ventilation and purification systems: Find systems that can accommodate the size of your building and the number of occupants. Look for smart systems and use sensors to gather data.
  4. Establish a regular maintenance schedule: Create a maintenance plan and stick to it. Clean and replace filters regularly and have a professional periodically inspect your system for issues.
  5. Educate and involve building occupants by encouraging feedback: The occupants of the building are directly affected by your IAQ system. Include them in the conversation and ask what issues they believe you need to address.
  6. Monitor IAQ progress and make adjustments as needed: Putting your plan into place is only the beginning. Continue to evaluate your IAQ so that you can make changes or improvements, such as moving or replacing sensors.

Through this process, you'll create a more pleasant and healthier environment for building occupants.

Improve Occupant Satisfaction with Veris

The people living or working in your building may feel unhappy or unwell without even understanding why. When you create a more effective IAQ system with some of the above strategies, you'll increase their satisfaction, cut costs, and prevent safety hazards. Now you just need the right tools for the job.

If you're ready to upgrade your air quality, Veris has a wide range of quality products, including occupancy, temperature, and humidity sensors, to help you. Shop now and find the IAQ solutions you need.
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