Indoor air quality and air conditioningNovember 13th, 2019 by Equilibrium
You can’t see the quality of the air you’re breathing in, but it has the potential to significantly impact your health. Indoor air quality (IAQ) affects our health and comfort at home and at work.
What is indoor air quality (IAQ)?
“The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) defines indoor air as air within a building occupied for at least one hour by people of varying states of health. This can include the office, classroom, transport facility, shopping centre, hospital and home. Indoor air quality can be defined as the totality of attributes of indoor air that affect a person’s health and well-being.”
Indoor air quality is measured by; cleanliness of the air (presence or absence of dust, pollen etc.), humidity, temperature control and odour.
In the commercial space, it’s imperative that businesses have effective, energy efficient air-conditioning solutions that are clean and maintained. Most commercial premises have constant human traffic, so IAQ is just as important in the workplace as it is in a residential sense. Poor indoor air quality can negatively impact your health, your comfort levels and your power bills.
Air-conditioning does a lot more than pump out hot or cold air on demand. It also plays a major part in maintaining good IAQ.
What can be done to ensure your air-conditioning system is working efficiently and continually circulating clean air?
Air-conditioner filters typically require changing at the beginning of both heating and cooling seasons. Quarterly is even better. This is a rather lengthy project when talking about commercial premises, which is why having your system professionally serviced at these intervals is best practice. A clean and full-service including the changing of older, clogged filters will allow the air-conditioner to continue to filter out dust pollen, spores and other airborne nuisances that are detrimental to human health.
Why is air-conditioning cleaning and maintenance so important for IAQ?
Changing the filter is important because dirty filters restrict airflow, forcing your system to work harder. This ultimately brings down the energy efficiency of the system, and increases your power bill. Not only that, but air circulation needs to remain constant for air quality to be maintained. Dirty filters are also known to overheat, causing permanent damage.
Another aspect of indoor air quality that air-conditioning helps to sustain is humidity. Air-conditioners are designed to reduce indoor humidity, which is a known contributor to the growth of mould. Mould is a major threat to IAQ as it can cause substantial health problems.
Health problems that are commonly associated with poor indoor air quality, according to The Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy, include:
- Sensory and skin irritation(skin, eyes and throat)
- Neurotoxic symptoms (such as; weakness, paralysis, flu-like symptoms, headache, vision loss, memory problems, impaired cognitive function, depression, loss of circulation, imbalance, behavioural problems and OCD)
- Odour and taste symptoms
Provided your commercial air-conditioning system is well maintained, clean, and continues to filter the air properly, it should last a long time. Regular cleaning and maintenance will prolong the life of the unit, increase energy efficiency, and sustain good indoor air quality. This will benefit your staff, clients and your bottom line.
For all enquiries on engineered air-conditioning solutions, commercial system maintenance and servicing, or the importance of maintaining indoor air quality, please contact our knowledgeable team at Equilibrium Air Conditioning on (02) 9439 4822 or email- [email protected]