Wolseley PRO Pipeline Blog
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is an area of HVAC that has grown in demand from customers and consumers alike. The initiative to improve indoor air quality is not new. It’s been a growing concern for several years, sped up by global pollution trends.
Canadian Pollution and Indoor Air Quality
In Canada, the common causes of outdoor pollution like fuel emissions from cars, forest fires and energy resources contribute to the poor air quality in the country and are starting to show effects indoors. The amount of time spent indoors in recent years has also increased. In recent studies, Canadians are estimated to spend 90% of their time indoors, and this number became even higher during provincial lockdowns. This amount of time spent indoors makes the effects of outdoor pollution noticeable and the effects of indoor pollution more concerning.
Add in the presence of COVID-19 and the pandemic, and certainly, there’s more attention on indoor air than ever before. Your customers and clients who may not have been so concerned about air before, have shifted their perceptions on indoor air quality. According to US Market research, homeowners now believe that indoor air quality needs to improve (62% of people) and that IAQ has to be a priority in 2021 (81%). Businesses face a similar scenario.
So how can you help homeowners and businesses in their journey to reexamine air quality and find useful solutions for their environment?
Give Insights on What Creates Poor Indoor Air Quality
Giving insights into what’s contributing to poor IAQ is the best first step.
When working with customers or clients, explain the common culprits of pollution, and what may already be present in their environment. For example, someone who lives in an older home may be exposing themselves to asbestos unknowingly, or someone who has an office near a highway may be bringing in emissions from the outdoors. Biological pollutants, chemical pollutants and particulate matter all play a role indoors.
Let your customers know about common indoor pollutants, including:
- Smoke or secondhand smoke
- Pet dander and hair
- Smoke or fumes from cooking
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from cleaning products or building materials
- Asbestos (in older homes and buildings)
- Mold growth
- Carbon Monoxide leaks
For those with respiratory illnesses, are elderly or very young, these pollutants are irritating and pose a serious health risk. As you work with your customer, ask questions to learn about the lifestyles and medical needs of those in the environment. There are simple changes that can be made to reduce pollutants, in addition to air system upgrades.
Your Influence on Indoor Air Quality
As a contractor, you can help your customers and clients address indoor air quality with the right systems for air ventilation, humidity control, air filtration and air purification. All systems can help improve indoor air quality and might be used differently depending on the environment and your customers’ needs.
It’s important to share your knowledge about these systems with your customers and lead up with a solution. To do this, keep an IAQ testing kit with you as a way to open the discussion on air quality. Use IAQ testing kits to review pollutants of concern and recommend systems that aim to reverse the issues.
To learn more about testing kits, read our resource on improving residential HVAC Solutions.
COVID-19’s Influence on Longer-Term IAQ Improvements
A topic of discussion that is on everyone’s mind when it comes to indoor air quality, is reducing the risk of COVID-19. Whether it's time indoors at home, in shared residential buildings, in businesses or places of education, air quality is a hot topic and influences how safe people feel indoors.
The Canadian Committee on Indoor Air Quality and Buildings has developed an ongoing interest in how buildings and homes can be addressed from a COVID-19 perspective. Some of the solutions proposed are structural, such as recommendations on where to put in windows or how buildings can be laid out for maximum airflow. This might be great if you are working on a new build...but of course, most homeowners and businesses are not in situations where they can make these changes so easily.
Instead, other methods are suggested to make some longer-term improvements. Look at methods to improve the HVAC system like High-Efficiency Heat Recovery Ventilators and Energy Recovery Ventilators. With both options, it helps to improve indoor IAQ as long as there is additional filtration and no leaks that could add to cross-contamination. Clean air delivery is also an improvement that plays a major role in depleting viruses in the air. Adding efficient filtration, purification and disinfection directly in the HVAC system will also help.
Brands like Honeywell/Resideo, Sanuvox, WellAir, and PremierOne, have systems that can be added to ductwork in a home or business to improve the air quality and reduce the risk of COVID-19 from indoor air. These units will not only make a difference currently but will help improve longer-term efforts to keep the air cleaner and healthier.
Rethink IAQ’s Importance in Your Business
As the general public grows more aware of IAQ, it’s important to address IAQ in your business, whether you’re working with residential customers or commercial clients. It’s an increase in demand that is here to stay and can impact your business going forward.
Take the uptick in interest as a competitive advantage in your business and offer homeowners your insights and HVAC improvements any time you can.
To shop Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) products on Wolseley Express, visit: https://www.wolseleyexpress.
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