Article - November 2002
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The need to maintain proper indoor air quality (IAQ) is a serious concern - the EPA reports that indoor air pollution is ranked as the highest risk to human health among all types of environmental problems. In an effort to better understand indoor air pollution, this White Paper discusses the sources of office pollutants, the benefits of demand-based ventilation and the comparison of using CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) sensors and mixed gas sensors for measuring IAQ.

According to ASHRAE Standard 62-2001 (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.), acceptable IAQ is "…air in which there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations as determined by cognizant authorities and with which a substantial majority of the people exposed do not express dissatisfaction." In other words, building owners who monitor the indoor air and remove harmful contaminants will provide a healthy environment for tenants.

The most effective method of maintaining the air quality at an acceptable level for optimum human comfort and health is to provide adequate air ventilation throughout a building. This Paper explores the benefits of using a demand-based ventilation system over using a time-based system. Whenever there is a large fluctuation in the number of individuals occupying a space - it is much more energy efficient to have the supply of outside air based on actual requirements.

Incorporating IAQ concerns into the design of a building and its mechanical systems is extremely valuable in maintaining a satisfactory indoor environment. Including IAQ in the design of HVAC control systems helps eliminate the threat of "Sick Building Syndrome" before it has the opportunity to become reality. This White Paper explains how the latest technology in HVAC control systems that incorporates Internet access and open protocol communication standards will help improve a building's IAQ.

Also provided in the White Paper is a helpful IAQ checklist to help you identify activities to improve the air quality of your facility.

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