You may have heard of IAQ before, or you may be scratching your head wondering, “what in the world is an IAQ?!” IAQ stands for Indoor Air Quality, also referred to as Indoor Environmental Quality. Judging by the title, you may have sensed that IAQ is important to be aware of, and you would be correct. IAQ describes how indoor air quality can affect a person’s overall health and wellness. Qualifiers for a poor IAQ ranking are poor ventilation, humidity, temperature, mold and chemical exposure. While IAQ is certainly a concern in your home, did you know that IAQ affects your workplace as well?
Good IAQ vs. Bad IAQ
To have what is considered a “good” IAQ, you should have access to plenty of fresh air, a comfortable temperature, humidity and limited pollutants. Indicators of a Poor IAQ within the workplace include not enough ventilation, or poor access to ventilation. Unkept heating and air-conditioning systems, leaks that create dampness and moisture, flood-damage, high humidity, construction or remodeling are all causes of poor IAQ. Additionally, contaminants being brought into your workplace is indicative of a poor IAQ.
Signs of Poor IAQ:
One of the biggest red flags for IAQ is an unpleasant odor in your workplace, or a musty smell. If you are feeling tired when you leave the workplace, or experience headaches at work, but upon returning home you feel fine, this could be a sign of poor IAQ. Asthma is also shown to correlate with IAQ; if you are asthmatic, more significant asthmatic symptoms may present as a result of poor IAQ. If you are experiencing any of the above, make sure to keep notes. If you have visited your doctor, express your concerns and symptoms. Be sure to note if any of your co-workers are experiencing similar symptoms, as your employer has certain responsibilities to keep you safe when it comes to IAQ.
If you believe you are experiencing poor IAQ in the workplace, speak with your employer and ask that they check the ventilation systems (both heating and cooling), and that your workplace is free of any leaks or floods. According to the OHSO Act of 1970, your employer “shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; (2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.” In other words, your employer should take your IAQ concerns seriously and perform a thorough building walk-through and evaluation. While there is no singular test for IAQ, you can request a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Schneider Heating & Air Conditioning is the leader in heating, cooling, ventilation, and air quality products and services in the La Crosse area. We have been serving the Coulee Region for more than 80 years. Our technicians are highly and continually trained utilizing the most sophisticated HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) technologies and equipment. All of our service technicians are NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified—the largest non-profit certification organization that is governed, owned, operated, developed, and supported by the HVAC industry. At Schneider Heating & Cooling, we pride ourselves on amazing customer service. Contact us today!