So, what exactly is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)? IAQ is the air quality within, and around buildings and structures. The air inside and around residential and commercial locations can play a vital role in a person’s life. The quality of the air we breathe has a direct impact on our mental and physical health. In a workplace setting, poor IAQ not only hurts employee morale, but studies have also shown that poor IAQ can negatively affect employee productivity, presenteeism, and absenteeism.
IAQ has always been on the radar of most facility managers. However, due to the rising uncertainties around COVID-19, IAQ is of utmost concern for every individual. Employees, customers, and visitors want to be reassured that the facility they are about to enter has safe and breathable air.
Mold, dust, allergens, cleaning products, scents, lead, smoke, HVAC systems, and Asbestos are some common factors that negatively affect IAQ. Some other activities in your facility, like painting or floor removal, can cause the indoor air.
Some other items in your facility can release gasses called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This is referred to as off-gassing. VOCs cause the quality of indoor air to be significantly more harmful than outside air. Other sources of indoor air pollution include combustion sources, building materials, furnishings, humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution.
While there are many sources of indoor air pollution, there are also many environmental factors that can negatively affect IAQ. Some of those include:
- Inadequate Ventilation
- High Temperatures
- Humidity Levels
- Malfunctioning Equipment
COVID-19 and Other IAQ Risks
COVID-19 has brought IAQ to the forefront as offices, retail, and educational facilities are considering strategies to reopen safely and minimize infection. Executives and stakeholders are looking for answers on how they can safely reopen their facilities while also providing employees, customers, and visitors peace of mind. Since airborne transmission plays a large role in the spread of COVID-19, it is becoming essential for Facility Managers to increase ventilation and filtration amongst other safety measures.
Beyond the threat of COVID-19, here are some other risks associated with poor IAQ:
- Dizziness, sneezing, throat irritation, and nausea
- Respiratory diseases
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Worsens existing disease conditions
- Difficulty breathing
Be an Air Quality Expert with HelixSense
HelixSense provides an IAQ module that can be deployed as an independent unit or a piece of the full HelixSense platform. HelixSense is known for having accurate and robust solutions, that covers all of your Facility Management needs. Within our IAQ module, we start by connecting and deploying sensors throughout the entire facility to enable 24/7 monitoring. These sensors collect real-time data and automatically feed that information into the HelixSense integrated platform. All data is analyzed and computed within the HelixSense platform. The result is actionable data, presented in an intuitive manner, which is used to guide and control your facilities IAQ strategy.
Connect: HelixSense combines excellent software with reliable hardware to deliver great results. HelixSense sensors can be connected to any asset, piece of equipment, or in the case of IAQ, any room, space, or area. Once connected, Facility Managers will have on-demand access to IAQ information, both real-time and historical.
Collect: Once the sensors are connected, organizations can be seamlessly monitoring the IAQ, amongst other things, throughout and around their facilities. This is where real Air Quality Monitoring takes place. HelixSense monitors for numerous sources of poor IAQ and will alert you when threshold levels are breached. Our colored-coded system allows managers to quickly identify the status of each area; green represents safe, yellow represents a warning, and red represents that actions are required. HelixSense monitors for:
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
- Humidity & Temperature
- Outdoor Air Pollution
Compute: So, the sensors are connected, and a monitoring system has been established, now its time to add some (Artificial) Intelligence. Identifying the problem is only half the battle. HelixSense leverages AI and machine learning technology to rapidly identify and present solutions to all IAQ problems. HelixSense looks at historical data to identify patterns and trends that can be impacting current performance. Whether it’s as small as replacing an air filter or something more impactful like modernizing the entire HVAC system or deploying intelligence, needs-based cleaning protocols, HelixSense will keep you ahead of the chaos.
Control: HelixSense gives managers and stakeholders the power to take control of IAQ and Facility Management by providing the right data, to the right party, at the right time. HelixSense proactively pushes actionable intelligence to appropriate individuals via standard and/or custom notifications. Managers and stakeholders can also leverage the HelixSense centralized dashboard to review historical data, future projections, summaries, and custom reports. HelixSense also enables collaboration across all departments. A daily automated summary of IAQ readings can be sent to safety, maintenance, and compliance departments.
With HelixSense, you can become an IAQ Expert.