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Indoor air quality describes how suitable the air inside of a building is for humans to breathe. It’s an important health and safety metric that all property and facility managers have a legal responsibility to uphold. Indoor air quality is something that can deteriorate if not properly managed, leading to the formation of concerning health issues for any occupants of that building. 

At Air-rite Solutions, we offer commercial air conditioning services to businesses in Brisbane and South East Queensland. Part of our job is developing solutions to improve the indoor air quality for our clients’ buildings. Over the years, we have found that many property and facility managers aren’t aware of exactly how poor indoor air quality can form, what affects it can have, and how it can be solved.

Here are 4 things that might surprise you about indoor air quality. 

1. Animal Products Can Be Found in Unventilated Air 

Ventilation is the natural or mechanised movement of clean outside air into an indoor space. It is an important step in maintaining healthy indoor air quality, with unventilated spaces being at risk of spreading harmful contaminants. 

Some of these indoor air-borne contaminants include animal products. Several buildings in Australia have bats, birds, and rodents inhabiting their roofs, and these animals leave behind particles from their feathers, fur, and excreta that can cause shortness of breath, hay fever, and asthmatic responses in people. The presence of these common air-borne animal products is greatly mitigated by adequate ventilation, helping to protect the occupants of your building.

People sitting in an office building in front of their computers.

2. Computer Equipment Can Cause Ozone 

Ozone is a colourless gas that has a noticeable “electrical” smell. Too much exposure to ozone can cause irritation in the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, and poses a serious risk to people with pre-existing respiratory illnesses. 

While natural sources for ozone include eucalyptus trees and bushfires, you may be surprised to hear that common office computing equipment also emits ozone gases. Photocopiers and laser printers both produce ozone, which can become irritating for people who work inside an unventilated office space. While the amount of ozone typically created by these machines isn’t a major concern, it’s still your responsibility to ensure the indoor air quality is maintained at a high enough level to prevent any issues from occurring. 

3. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Are Found in Lots of Different Indoor Things 

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are compounds that contain carbon and evaporate at room temperature. They can consist of alkanes, aromatics, ketones, alcohols, and ethers, and can be found in a variety of common indoor items. VOCs evaporate from the following sources: 

  • Office furnishings 
  • Adhesives 
  • Paints 
  • Fillers 
  • Caulking 
  • Pressed wood products 
  • Carpets 
  • Electrical equipment 
  • Clearing and personal hygiene products 
  • And more 

If the indoor air quality of your building is not properly maintained, these VOCs can cause irritation and severe health effects to occupants after long exposure. 

4. HVAC Systems can Improve Indoor Air Quality 

HVAC air conditioning is more than just regulating the temperature of an indoor space.  The “V” in HVAC stands for “Ventilation”, which clearly illustrates how these systems can be used to improve the indoor air quality of your building. 

Opening up any windows in an indoor space will go a long way towards improving the indoor air quality, but commercial and industrial air conditioning systems are also useful ventilators. They channel air from outside and filter it to ensure it is clean and fit for breathing. 

Contact Air-rite Solutions 

Air-rite Solutions provides the full range of commercial HVAC services for businesses throughout Brisbane and South East Queensland. Our experienced HVAC experts design, install, and maintain systems that go a long way towards improving the indoor air quality of your building. 

To find out how we can help, contact our friendly team today on 07 3274 2199.