The Lowdown on IAQ
Did you know that women who work at home have a 54% higher death rate from cancer than those that work outside the house? Or that 50% of all illnesses in the U.S. are caused by poor indoor air quality (IAQ)?
When you consider the fact that we spent 60% to 90% of our time indoors, you can see why poor indoor air quality is a problem that can have a real impact on the health of occupants… and it’s a lot bigger problem than most people realize. Here are some other IAQ facts:
- The EPA found that indoor air can be 5X more polluted than outside air – and it’s sometimes as much as 100X more polluted.
- 96% of homes tested had IAQ issues. 86% of these included high levels of ducts, pollen and air-borne viruses. 71% of the air in homes tested was filled with potentially harmful chemicals and gases.
- Improvements in IAQ in the workplace/classroom can increase productivity by up to 10%
- An EPA analysis found that if a school spent just $370 each year on preventative IAQ maintenance for 20 years (a total of $8,140) it would save about $1.5 million in repairs.
- 2 out of 3 indoor air quality problems involve the HVAC system. Many of these are directly related to leaky ventilation shafts and other ductwork.
There has been a dramatic increase in public awareness over the role that leaky ductwork plays in lost energy. The same holds true for the connection between duct leaks and indoor comfort. Not only is effectively sealing those leaks usually the single most effective thing one can do to improve energy efficiency, but it is also usually the solution to uneven temperatures – rooms that never get enough heat in the winter or air conditioned air in the summer.
Less people are aware, however, that duct leaks are also a main contributor to poor indoor air quality. Perhaps that’s because IAQ is mostly an invisible problem, making it so easy to ignore. Out of site – out of mind.
It’s time we bring the facts regarding IAQ out into the light.