How to improve indoor air quality

AuthorEmmeline | Product Consultant

To put it simply, we often overlook our indoor air quality.

 - Whilst ventilation from windows and doors can bring in fresh outdoor air, it can also introduce more pollutants into your indoor air, which are likely to hang around and cause harm if they cannot escape or are not treated
 - Ozone from outdoor sources, even at low levels, can trigger asthma symptoms and lead to respiratory problems, affecting productivity levels of the occupants
But it’s not only the asthmatic that benefit from Air Purifiers. Studies focusing on using Air purifiers in Education settings show that grades have risen by 0.20% with a noticeable decrease in staff and student sick absence.

So, what do Air Purifiers actually do?

Brilliant question! Basically, they help areas where indoor air quality isn’t up to scratch by cleaning (purifying) the air. And whilst COVID19 is still a major threat, this can no longer be overlooked. Using Schools and Businesses as a study case, post-COVID19 guidelines on 3 types of transmission include;

1. Fomite transmission – touch
   - Set up hand-sanitising stations and encourage regular hand washing
   - Regularly sanitise surfaces with anti-bacterial cleaning products This introduces a lot more chemicals into the air which can trigger an asthma attack or other respiratory conditions.

2. Close-range transmission
   - Restrict social groups – by class/year group
   - Distancing of desks – maybe with flexiglass dividers
   - Wear masks – secondary school/adults/staff

3. Long-range transmission
   - Increase natural ventilation by opening doors and windows
       o Can lead to an increase in heating costs as heat escapes
       o External pollutants
       o Noise from traffic
       o Windows may be non-openable or difficult to open (or close again at the end of the day)
Here we can see the need to be able to balance opening windows with thermal comfort, noise and outdoor pollutants.
   - Mechanical ventilation using fresh air with HEPA filters
       o Poor management and operation due to lack of training
       o Knowing if your system is a fresh air system Vs recirculating
       o Most systems don’t come with HEPA filters
       o Filters are not changed frequently enough
To address these issues can lead to a costly upgrade or disruption preventing productivity. If you’re unsure whether your mechanical ventilation has HEPA filters, a purifier is essential to clean pollutants indoors.
    - Supplement with portable air purifiers
           o Post COVID19, purifiers should not be a replacement for fresh air, but rather a supplement to your current ventilation strategy
           o Pre-COVID, air purifiers gave Schools and Businesses quick results (economically), leaving the government to focus on outdoor pollution levels

The Sqair Air Purifier



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