Indoor Air Quality
Did you know that in the USA alone, there are over 60 billion square feet of office space? As these buildings age, the air we breathe at work continues to degrade.
What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
The Indoor Environment Group at Berkeley Labs tells us that “Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the environmental characteristics inside buildings that may affect human health, comfort, or work performance. IAQ characteristics include the concentrations of (amounts of) pollutants in indoor air, as well as air temperature and humidity.”
The main factors affecting IAQ are: thermal comfort, the presence of pollutants and particulates, the temperatures of exterior walls and windows, humidity, and the amount of indoor air motion.”
What effect does IAQ have?
Evidence shows that increasing Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) can:
- increase comfort,
- decrease adverse health effects,
- decrease absence rates, and
- increase work and school work performance.
Some people suffer from allergies due to duct work contaminants, as well as getting sick from air drafts coming from the air conditioning vents while working in their office.
What is in my duct work?
You might be shocked to learn what your duct work can contain.
Studies have found dust mites, insect feces, hair, pollen and other allergens, mold spores and bacteria. There have even been cases of Airborne Legionnaires Disease being transmitted through duct work. Due to their designs, cleaning duct work typically isn’t possible.
Dust Mite, Insect Feces and Hair
Weed and Tree Pollen
Airborne Streptococcus Bacteria
How can I protect myself and my employees?
Since duct work cleaning is often impossible, particle filtration is the main tool Facilities Managers can use to protect staff.
“Particle filtration in buildings can substantially reduce people’s exposures to particles from both outdoor air and indoor sources. While the health effects of indoor-generated particles are poorly understood, higher concentrations of outdoor air particles are strongly linked to premature death and a variety of adverse health effects.” – Berkeley Lab
How well does filtration work? What does MERV mean?
“Particle filtration technologies are well-established and widely available. Currently, most building HVAC systems include filters with a relatively low efficiency rating. For example, U.S. commercial buildings often use filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 7, with a low efficiency in removing the small particles most important to health. The filters used in the HVAC systems of houses often have an even lower efficiency. The incremental costs of using higher efficiency filters, e.g., those with a MERV 11 rating, are modest — less than a U.S. dollar per person per month [11, 62] and the predicted health benefits are substantial. Consequently, routine use of higher efficiency filters in HVAC systems represents a good building practice.” https://iaqscience.lbl.gov/benefits-summary
At Comfort First Products, we utilise MERV12 and MERV14 filters. Perfect for keeping your staff safe.
Do I need this if I already have filters in my air conditioning unit?
These days, a lot of air conditioning units include filters inside the duct work (often every 100 feet or so) or at the air conditioning unit itself. The problem is that even with a high efficiency filter (say, 90%), over long periods of time, contaminants will still build up. Ten percent of the contaminants over 30 years is still a lot of dangerous particles! It’s for this reason that we recommend filtering the supply air. This also allows the filters to be more regularly changed, reducing static pressure issues.
What are the solutions to my IAQ problems?
At Comfort First Products, we have three main solutions for you indoor air quality issues. But which one is right for you?
Comfort First Filtered Diffuser
The Comfort First Filtered Diffuser is our flagship product, and often the best solution. The Comfort First Filtered Diffuser features four independently adjustable louvers, providing complete individual air control. No more “dumping” of air, regardless of the Air Volume (Cubic Feet Per Minute). Guaranteed to deliver the best air distribution available, while providing an ambient air temperature comfortable for EVERYONE. Helps make facilities office air flow specialists.
Control-A-Flow Draft Eliminator with an anti-microbial filter is used when you do not have time or money to change out the diffuser and still want to divert air from ceiling air diffusers while preventing duct work pollution from entering the work space! Its installs in moments and still prevents draft complaints.
Sometimes, IAQ is more important than distribution or aesthetics. In these cases and in temporary installations, the Breathe Easy really shines as a commercial air filtration system. The multi-density polyester fiber with an anti-microbial treatment can destroy 86.5% of airborne microorganisms on contact, while also removing pollen, dirt, dust mites, germs, mildew and other indoor allergens as small as one micron without the expense of cleaning duct work.
Comfort First Products strives to provide our customers with the solution they need to keep their office a happy, thriving, healthy, comfortable indoor business by improving indoor air quality and controlling the indoor air motion in offices.
There are many reasons that you may need to filter the air through your building. Both draft elimination and filtration can provide your office with many health benefits which can produce better work efforts exhibited all around.
As people become more educated about Sick Building Syndrome, they will be demanding management does something to improve the quality of the air they breathe. The EPA states indoor air quality is, on average, seven to ten times more polluted than outdoor air, even in metropolitan areas. Harmful airborne particles are linked to health problems such as asthma, fatigue, allergies, respiratory ailments, headaches, nausea, and more.
Until now, solutions were few. Cleaning or replacing duct work is too costly. Plus, cleaning the ducts often exacerbates the problem by loosening old duct insulation loaded with contaminants.
Our Solution is Easy and Affordable
Four high-efficiency electrostatic charged filters cover each discharge point on the inside portion of each set of louvres, cleaning the air as it enters the workspace. The diffuser hinges open so filter changes can be done without entering the sub-ceiling.
- Traps Airborne Contaminants – Captures duct work pollution as small as 3/10th of a micron, including bacteria, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) dust, rust, dust mites, insect pieces, pollens and other allergens.
- Reduces Illness and Allergies – By eliminating many toxins and allergens from the air, airborne illnesses and allergic reactions are reduced, thereby reducing sick time, which increases company profit.
- Improves Productivity and Morale – Improving indoor air quality makes people feel better on the job and increases their concentration, fewer sick days, resulting in higher productivity and morale.
- No Dirty Ceilings – Prevents dust build up on a ceiling.
- Easy to Change Filters – Filters last 3 to 6 months and the diffuser hinges open for quick replacement. Filter attaches with a hook fastener.
Finally, there is a solution to the problem of cold or hot air blowing onto workers from ceiling supply air vents or diffusers. No longer do people need to wear sweaters or jackets to stay comfortable while they work. Too often, other diffusers “dump” air straight down onto the heads of employees, which is the cause of draft complaints. Only the Comfort First Filtered Diffuser eliminates drafts, while improving indoor air quality (IAQ) and creating a healthier work environment.
“Someday all buildings will be required to have a filtering supply diffuser to clean the air as it enters the room. It’s the only sensible solution to duct work pollution.”
-David T. Northcutt, National Sales Manager, International Diversified Marketing, Inc.