What is Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) & what makes it so important?

Written by admin. Posted in Indoor Air Quality Dubai

indoor environmental qualityWe all know that is a well documented fact that people spend almost 90% of their time indoors – either at home, office, malls or some other building. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to consider not just the air pollution but indoor air pollution as well. In most cases, indoor air pollution should be more important than the outer one. You have already heard about the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) which comprises of the quality of air inside the buildings that you are breathing. Now another term has come up into the public domain which is Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ).

IEQ involves a series of complex combinations that include Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), noise disturbance, room temperature, occupant density, indoor lighting, cleanliness and measures aimed at protecting an individual’s mental health. All these factors add up to what we call IEQ and it simply illustrates the importance of building engineering in shaping the health of the occupants living/working inside. There is much more than simply providing clean air inside the buildings for the inhabitants but rather a multitude of factors are involved mentioned above.

Poor IEQ (indoor environmental quality) can be caused by various factors like

  • Mold
  • Chemicals present in paints, adhesives, sealants or furnitures
  • Pollutants from shoes and slippers
  • Asbestos
  • Poor Ventilation
  • Extreme Temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Absence of proper lighting
  • Improper cleaning/hygiene
  • Poor construction of the building
  • Conditions conducive to bacterial growth
  • Loud Noise sources
  • Smoking inside or near building entrances
  • Combustion processes of HVAC, fireplaces and kitchen stoves
  • Respiratory processes of the occupants, which release carbon dioxide and other germs
  • Moisture

Architects and construction companies have now started to give priority to the IEQ of the building but a large portion of the population is still pretty much ignorant regarding IEQ. IEQ is especially important for highly sensitive environments like schools, colleges, nursing homes, elderly care centers etc.

Here are some of the symptoms (not limited to) that can arise out of poor IEQ:

  1. Headache
  2. Fatigue
  3. Sneezing
  4. Cough
  5. Skin rashes
  6. Cold
  7. Nasal Congestion
  8. Dizziness
  9. Red Eyes
  10. Irritation of skink, eyes, nose, throat etc
  11. Nausea
  12. Shortness of breath
  13. Sudden allergies

Poor IEQ conditions might lead to an adverse affect on the cognitive abilities of the brain and might also cause improper brain development among children.

The best way to prevent indoor pollutants and improve the IEQ is to control the pollutants at their source. The next line of defense would be developing proper ventilation via windows and ventilation ducts. Make sure that your AC Ducts are properly cleaned as well regularly. Here are some of the methods to improve IEQ levels of a building

Good Design

Architects and engineers need to work on a proper design where in proper ventilation is given a priority as well as access to direct sunlight and designing of exterior entrances along with regular entryway systems to catch and hold dirt particles. Also designing the HVAC systems so as to isolate kitchen/fireplace operations with the rest of the occupant areas. They also have to ensure that the building materials used in the construction do not use excessive chemicals which are harmful to the residents of the building. Another thing to consider is the growth of mold in the presence of moisture. Steps should be taken to control/eliminate moisture levels as much as possible so that they do not promote ideal breeding grounds for mold, algae, allergens or other bacteria inside the building.

Engineers need to appreciate the importance of sunlight and fresh air. Therefore, windows should be provided in all occupied spaces. The windows have to be provided with solar glare control and adjustments to open close as per the occupants desire. All designs need to take the natural light into consideration as well as location of convenient stairways to encourage inhabitants to use them instead of elevators for health and energy savings.

Designers have to look into EPA recommendations while using construction products like paints, sealants or adhesives. They need to select less hazardous ingredients that are low-emitting.

Temperature

The HVAC system plays an important role in the maintenance of ideal temperature inside the modern buildings now a days. The thermal comfort of the inhabitants needs to be considered as well as understanding moisture dynamics as moisture can promote growth of bacteria and related allergens inside the living environments. High-performance windows may be employed to increase Mean Radiant Temperature (MRT).

Limit Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields

EMFs (Electromagnetic Fields) are generated by devices creating electrical charges and microwaves, radio and transformers. EMFs are believed to cause cancer, however, the evidence is still insufficient regarding this claim. There is not government recommendations regarding EMFs, but the facility designers and manager should keep this aspect in mind and do some research in dealing with EMF exposure to the inhabitants and try to limit the EMF exposure as much as possible.

Ventilation

I know that we discussed ventilation in the designing aspect of the building, but it is such an important cog in improving IEQ that we need to discuss this separately as well. The ventilation system (which comprises of HVAC, Ducts, Windows, Vents etc) needs to be efficient in terms of energy as well as costs. There has to be a perfect balance between fresh clean air and energy savings when thinking of designing ventilation systems. Indoor Air Quality has to be a top most priority as the inhabitants spend more than 90% of their time indoors. The key ventilation components have to be protected from contamination and ease of access should be provided for routine inspections and replacements as needed. Incorporating fresh air along with HVAC should be prioritized as well. Vehicle parking lots should be designed so as not to interfere with the indoor air quality of the building and proper distances from the highways should be kept into consideration as well. A proper plan should be developed for regular filter cleaning/replacement in line with a schedule and Duct Cleaning should be a part of the effort to keep the indoor air quality at its optimum levels.

Prevent Growth of Mold & Other pathogens

The building design and HVAC plays a huge role in the growth of mold and fungi. A proper HVAC system should be able to control humidity and temperature irrespective of outside conditions. Dehumidifiers are not just a luxury anymore but rather a necessity now. Designers should carefully consider the envelope of the building to prevent moisture infiltration which might lead to mold, fungi, leakage etc. Regular tests should be done to monitor the air quality inside and outside the building and proper maintenance procedures should be undertaken to prevent infections.

Public restroom can be a source of moisture inside the buildings. Therefore, steps should be taken to make sure that the humidity is under control in these parts of the building.

Lighting

Daylighting should be an important aspect of any building design as it not just provides access to a great source of light but also reduces energy spend. Natural light should be integrated with high performance artificial lights like bulbs, tubes etc. Dark color should be avoided on the walls to maximize natural light reflection and minimize glare. Creation of safer environments should be prioritized for people with low vision.

Water Quality

Water storage systems should be properly sealed and maintained as per recommendations. The water temperatures should be kept at an optimum levels so as to avoid growth of legionellae and related pathogens. Frequent water quality checks should be undertaken so as to maintain the quality of the supply water. Water tank cleaning should also be done at least on a yearly basis so as to keep clean water supply all year round.

Noise

Another important aspect to consider in maintaining ideal IEQ inside the buildings is Noise. The design of the building should be so as to minimize the noise levels entering living spaces from outside. The walls may have some kind of noise cancellation and the design should promote optimum noise levels.

As you can see that IEQ is a very important factor now for the inhabitants of a building. It helps people live a healthy life and also helps in great energy savings as well as cost savings. It is high time that buildings start incorporating Indoor Environmental Quality into their designs as soon as possible.

Sources: Whole Building Design Guide

Air Pollution Directly Affects “Intelligence Quotient” in Human Beings

Written by admin. Posted in Indoor Air Quality Dubai

Air Pollution

Air Pollution greatly affects the brain cognitive ability and causes a huge reduction in intelligence, according to new scientific research, which, in turn, indicates that the damage of toxic air is not just limited to your lungs but our brain as well. This research has disclosed far deeper ramifications of air pollution on our society. The actual impact, according to some scientists, may be ‘equivalent to having lost a year of human education’. That is a staggering statistic and mankind needs to wake up to the threat of Air Pollution sooner rather than later. We are not just playing with the health of our future generations but are also making them dumber in the process.

This research, which was conducted in China, uncovers that more than 90% of the world’s population does not have access to clean air and are breathing toxic air (again a mind-boggling statistic).  This test found significant drops in test scores across languages and mathematics disciplines. The effect is even worse on elderly population, especially above 64 years. If calculated, this loss amounts to having lost one whole year in education.

While previous studies have touched the impact of air pollution on the cognitive abilities, but this is the first time deep research has been done on people of all ages and genders. According to UK Public Health Charity Medact,” The report’s findings are extremely worrying.” Most critical financial decisions are made in the old age. If the mind’s cognitive ability is restricted, it might lead to catastrophic decisions for many people. This study further proves that the more you expose yourself to air pollution, the more are your chances to dementia and other mental disorders.

It’s been confirmed that air-pollution accounts for more than seven million premature deaths all over the world in a year, but the impact on people’s mental health due to pollution has not been studied extensively till now. A recent study found that toxic breathing air is liked to “extremely high mortality” in people with mental disorders and increases mental illness in highly prone individuals, like children. Another study found links between living near busy roads/highways and high risk of dementia.

This research conducted in China, was done to prove if there’s any impact to the brain due to the toxic air levels. This study was conducted on 20,000 people across China between 2010 & 2014. It was also published in the Journal – Proceedings of the National Academy Of Sciences. These results were compared with levels of nitrogen dioxide and Sulphur dioxide pollution. Potential prospects were exposed to appropriate levels of the dirty air and were monitored on their language and arithmetic abilities. Results took into consideration the workings of the female and male brain function.

This group of Scientists had similar preliminary findings about the air pollution impact, before they embarked on this ground-breaking research. They found that Air Pollution can potentially be associated with Oxidative stress, neuro-inflammation and neuro-degeneration of humans. Sounds scary, right?

They proved that there is a direct relation between loss of intelligence and air pollution levels, although results vary from individual to individual depending upon their age, gender and genetic factors. But one thing is confirmed – “there is a gradual drop in intelligence quotient with increased levels of pollutants in the air”. The scientists, still have to confirm if these impacts are short-term or long-term as more research is required to confirm that particular thesis.

Scientists have urged the Governments all over the world to take concrete steps to reduce the air pollution that would benefit humans and stop thinking of short-term gains. China is trying to reduce its pollution levels significantly and is able to reduce some amounts of it. But a lot still needs to be done as China is home to several of the World’s most polluted cities.

According to Doctors Against Diesel, UK,” This study adds to the evidence that air pollution affects our cognitive function. Road traffic is the biggest contributor to air pollution and governments need to act in an urgent manner to remove these polluting vehicles off the roads.”

The air is highly polluted and harming people’s health every day. We need to rise up to this challenge for the sake of our and our future generation’s health and simply tell the authorities that the current policies are not up to the scale of challenge faced by humanity in tackling air pollution. We should commit to bring air pollution below permissible limits as soon as possible.

Now there’s not a lot you can do to control the pollution outside your home. But you can certainly control the Indoor Air Pollution by getting your AC Ducts checked regularly. Get A Free AC Duct Cleaning Inspection by Saniservice today and you can also get your indoor air quality checked to monitor the increase/decrease in the levels of pollutants inside your homes.

Source: The Guardian

Indoor Air Quality Facts

Written by admin. Posted in Indoor Air Quality Dubai

Indoor Air Quality Facts Infographic

AIR QUALITY FACTS

Here are some facts about indoor air quality presented in the form of an info-graphic. Indoor Air Quality is getting from bad to worse in the recent years.

Indoor Air Quality Facts

  1. An average human breathes approximately 11000 litres of air each day, making ambient air pollution a major environmental problem.
  2. Environmental Protection Agency has ranked Indoor Air Pollution as a Top 5 Environment Danger – YES Top 5.
  3. The Quality of indoor air is 5x worse than outdoor air. Some homes may even have 100x more pollutants.
  4. Almost 90% of the home owners are not aware that pollution may be worse inside their homes than outdoors.
  5. Nearly 2 million people die prematurely from illness attributed to indoor air pollution. The population-wise years of healthy life lost due to indoor air pollution might be same as those lost due to car accidents each year.
  6. The Air Quality in schools is among the worst. Schools accommodate 4x more occupants than a standard office building with the same amount of floor space
  7. Poor Quality Air Exacerbates Asthma – Asthma is a silent epidemic that has a disastrous effect on the quality of life. Every 1 in 13 people suffer from some form of Asthma.
  8. Dry eyes, headaches, nasal congestion, fatigue, and even nausea are common symptoms. Serious problems such as asthma, lung infections, or even lung cancer have been linked to exposure. Particles which enter the bloodstream have been associated with stroke and depression in adults, and children have shown increased systemic inflammation, immune dysfunction, and neural distress
  9. The Elderly suffer the most from Poor indoor air quality as they spend 18-20 hours everyday  Elderly care centers faced exposure to high concentrations of fungus which could negatively affect their respiratory health.
  10. Kitchen is a hot spot of indoor air pollution – Cooking process can produce toxic pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter & hydrocarbons which adversely affect your health.
  11. Common indoor pollutants include dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold, radon, and other chemical fumes.

Prevention and Cure

  • The easiest way to prevent indoor air pollution is to try not to bring pollutants inside your homes in the first place.
  • The second step is to increase ventilation inside the house. Open your doors and windows to let in fresh air everyday especially during cooking.
  • Clean your air ducts, furniture, rugs, carpets periodically and properly. Take professional duct cleaning help if needed.
  • Check your ac and air cleaner filters regularly and replace them when needed.
  • Monitor your health and get regular health checkups done to make sure you are not suffering from any respiratory disease.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Healthy diet has the capacity to remove toxins out of your body induced due to air pollution.

Sources: aafa.org , health.howstuffworks.com , epa.gov, globalhealingcenter.com

Cleaning and Disinfecting Air Conditioners in Dubai, UAE

Written by admin. Posted in AC duct Cleaning Dubai, Indoor Air Quality Dubai

1363113908693Air conditioners or ACs are widely used all over the world. When it comes to high-end modern cities like Dubai in United Arab Emirates where technology has a vast hold, air conditioners are extremely common. Another factor that adds to their popularity there are the hot weathers people deal with most of the times during a year – with such hear, having an AC becomes kind of necessary. Likewise, in Dubai, like everywhere else in the world, air conditioner cleaning and disinfecting becomes important. Proper and professional cleaning and disinfection services have too many benefits. If you own an AC in Dubai, UAE, then make sure to focus on getting professional cleaning and disinfecting regularly.

Benefits of Cleaning and Disinfection Services

AC’s are literally throwing out air into the environment. In a closed room with AC cooling, the people inside are breathing that very air. Hence, clean ACs become essential for health reasons and environmental protection. Apart from these services being necessary, people also enjoy various benefits of AC cleaning and disinfection in Dubai, UAE such as:

  • Longevity of your AC: An AC that is not properly maintained and left to corrode in dust, dirt, and mold can get broken very easily without any chance of full repair. To maintain your AC’s life and to extend it, regular cleaning and disinfecting should be regularly considered.
  • Better airflow: The reason your AC is there is to provide cooling air in the hot weathers of Dubai, UAE. There is no point to it if it does not give you the proper cooling air. Long intervals without cleaning and disinfecting can clog up the vents and slow down the machine, breaking up air flow.
  • Reduction in electricity bills: A significant part of your electricity bill is there because of using your AC but that does not mean it has to be as high as it is. It has been noted that cleaner and disinfected AC’s lower electricity charges and the unmaintained ones raise them.

Why Disinfect?

Many people think that just getting their ACs cleaned will be full maintenance and their AC does not really need disinfection. This is false, because cleaning away dust and debris is just as important as getting rid of mold and bacteria. If you let the mold or mildew be, anyone who breathes in the air from the air conditioner is vulnerable to health risks like allergies, asthma, and bronchitis, flus, hay fever, sore throat, etc. The risks of these diseases increase even more if your AC is used on a regular basis and living in Dubai of UAE, that is most probably the very case.

There is no denying that AC’s in Dubai’s hot weather are a blessing but do not let them harm you, your family, or the environment. A full extensive cleaning and disinfecting service should be used every year, at least. You get to enjoy the benefits of your AC properly with proper maintenance.

 

What You Should Know about Indoor Air Quality

Written by admin. Posted in Indoor Air Quality Dubai

One of the things that people seem to take for granted these days is the indoor air quality. When people look for a house, apartment or office space, IAQ is the least of their concerns. It is only when they start to get sick when they consider the importance of air quality. Polluted air can lead to irritation of the nose, throat, and eyes. Eyes will be irritated, and people tend to cough, wheeze, or have difficulty in breathing. Existing heart and lung problems will worsen, and allergies will be developed.

The best way to fight against pollutants is to stop them from going in your home or office. An air testing service can help pinpoint the pollutants as well as test the air quality if it is within IAQ standards. The service can identify the pollutants and their levels. They can also take steps to remove the pollutants. Common air pollutants that are harmful to the health are second-hand smoke, asbestos, formaldehyde, and radon.


If you are in the United Arab Emirates, you can call an indoor air quality Dubai improvement and air conditioning service that will take corrective actions to get rid of the pollutants. Homeowners and business owners can also help in the indoor air quality improvement by keeping the floors of the home or office clean. That involves vacuuming, mopping and replacing mats and rugs with clean ones.

A good AC system can also help remove pollutants from entering your home. Air conditioners are designed to pull out air and push in cooler air. When pulling out air, it also takes the pollutants from the room. Then it replenishes it with cleaner air that passed through the air filters. It is important to keep the filters clean. These simple steps can help with your indoor air quality improvement efforts.

Indicators of Poor Indoor Air Quality

 Colds and Allergies

If most of the people at home or in the workplace are suffering from allergies or colds, chances are the air quality is bad. But using allergies as a gauge can be hard because people who susceptible to allergies will show allergic reactions first, and the others will think it is just a normal allergy attack.

 Higher Electric Bills

When the air conditioner is working harder than usual, it would result to higher electric bills. Regular maintenance of the AC unit should be done. This includes changing the filters and checking for moisture building that could lead to potential air contamination. A properly functioning air conditioner can get rid of the air pollutants.

 Improper Air Flow

If the air conditioner is in good, working order but some areas have stale air compared to others, it could be the case of build-up of pollutants in the ducts that restrict airflow. If the ends of the ducts have screens, you can probably clean the ducts.

Indoor air quality improvement must be done in order to maintain the wellness of the people at home or in the workplace. Spotting indoor air pollution early can keep people health and save you time and money in the future.

The Effects of Indoor Air Quality in Allergic Rhinitis

Written by admin. Posted in Indoor Air Quality Dubai

Allergy Rhinitis and Indoor Air QAll we just want for ourselves and for our family is a good and safe place to live in that is away from illnesses and sicknesses.

Allergic rhinitis is one of the illnesses I rather not want to experience so an indoor air quality is a must inside the home or at the office to avoid inhaling the dust and other microorganisms sticking on the objects. This allergy could be one of the bad things you are going to get if you have indoor air quality problems in any kind of offices, buildings or homes.

What causes allergic rhinitis? It might be a result of an allergic person contacting several times with protein from plants. Pollens are extremely small, dry and light protein particles that grasses and weeds produce and when it spread and inhaled by a person can cause sneezing and occurrence of allergies like rhinitis.

However, skin testing is performed with minimal discomfort:

  • When a small amount of allergy is visible on the skin
  • Through INRATDERMAL METHOD in which an injection is tested on a small amount of the test substance into the skin
  • If the skin has reddish color, then the individual is sensitized to a particular allergen.
  • Skin testing is not indicated for people who have skin conditions.

Not just this type of allergy but also headache, fatigue, sinus congestion, dizziness, nausea, coughing and sneezing and shortness of breath are also caused by poor indoor air quality inside your home.

The comfort of your own home or at the office will just keep you alive and healthy if there is a good indoor air quality more in the inner side of the area than the outside part. People who are staying at home are prone to such allergy because they are more expose on air pollutants and allergens that exist in the air. So to avoid this illness we must do something that occupants will never have difficulty in breathing from the inside part.

One of the tools to reduce the increasing airborne contaminants is getting an air purifier in your home. Air purifiers are one of the best solutions to improve indoor air quality. With air purifiers in place, allergic attacks would be less because you can be sure that you are breathing the right quality of air inside your home or office. In fact, there are various solutions to maintain a good indoor air quality in order to keep your life safe and healthy. You can ask more information about air purifiers and cleaning solution kits of most service companies in Dubai to give solution to your needs. There are different choices available for you but there is no other choice in providing the best services and products by visiting their website for more guiding tips.