What is Indoor Air Quality?

What is Indoor Air Quality?

Did you know that the air you breathe inside a building can be much unhealthier than the outside air?

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is more important than ever – it is top of mind for students, parents, and school administrators. The coronavirus has brought a renewed focus on the importance of IAQ in schools, but Modine has been serious about addressing IAQ through our school HVAC products for decades.

Even without the threat of the coronavirus, indoor air pollution can be a real problem for students, affecting their health and productivity. Poor air quality can also be a trigger for existing respiratory conditions like asthma. 1

IAQ issues can turn schools into quarantine zones. From the immediate threat of coronavirus to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are emanating from:

  • New flooring or carpets
  • Building materials
  • Paint
  • Office equipment
  • Cleaners and disinfectants

Indoor air pollutants can add up to severe health risks. Read more on VOC’s here

Over the years, energy conservation concerns led to building designs and practices that minimized the infiltration of outside air into school facilities, contributing to the buildup of low-level indoor air pollutants.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identifies indoor air quality as a legitimate health risk that can cause varying levels of distress in students. In addition to the risk of COVID-19 infections, poor indoor air quality can lead to “sick building syndrome”.

Sick Building Syndrome

Sick building syndrome is a condition associated with complaints of discomfort including headache; nausea; dizziness; dermatitis; eye, nose, throat, and respiratory irritation; coughing; difficulty concentrating; sensitivity to odors; muscle pain; and fatigue.

Not the ideal situation for a learning environment

Child Sneezing in a classroom

The best defense against indoor air pollution in commercial settings is a well-designed HVAC system that can ensure an adequate supply of fresh outdoor air through proper ventilation measures. Modine offers several HVAC solutions for ensuring clean air in offices and institutional facilities such as schools.

1 https://www.osha.gov/indoor-air-quality