What Are the Most Common Causes of IAQ Problems?
Common IAQ problems stem from multiple sources, including building occupants, weather, activities inside a building, and the relationship between building materials and furnishings. Inadequate temperature, high humidity, poor circulation, insufficient outdoor air intake, contaminants, and issues with your ventilation system are some of the most common causes of poor IAQ.
Building occupants contribute to poor IAQ due to carbon dioxide, perfume, and body odors. Building materials such as dust, asbestos, fiberglass, and formaldehyde can also contaminate the air. Cleaning chemicals, such as solvents or disinfectants, can let off toxic vapors and VOCs, while everyday items such as carpets, paints, and furniture can release off-gas emissions into the air. Carpets and fabrics are notorious for collecting dust-mites and common office items like photocopy machines can be a source of ozone.
Most significantly, your HVAC system can be one of the worst culprits of IAQ problems. Damp areas, stagnant water, and condensate pans are breeding grounds for mold, bacteria, and fungi, which are then passed through your ductwork and into your indoor environment.