According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than air from outdoors. To keep air quality optimal for homeowners and employees, various methods of ventilation can be used to exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) suggest air circulation in the amount of 15 cubic feet per minute (CFM), per person to maintain a safe balance of indoor and outdoor air.
Equipment, installation, operation, and maintenance are key to striking a balance in air quality. The overall design of a system can make a difference when it comes to intermittent air flow, healthy distribution of clean air, and proper supply and exhaust locations. Consider the following variables when striving to maintain quality air control:
- Intermittent air flow rates (when a system is in use or turned off) can be determined by building type, size, and use, as well as recommended rates of air flow, air distribution, temperature, and humidity for each variable.
- Air distribution capability is determined by the efficiency of air intake systems and exhaust fan ventilation. Static pressure measurement can help determine system capacity.
- Supply and exhaust locations control air quality. Air supply vents installed near exhaust vents and intake vents installed close to sources of outdoor pollution can cause air supply contamination.
- Duct work design will determine the overall efficiency of the system. Straight-path duct ventilation will work better than a system that has sharp bends and angles.
It’s not only important to consider system design, but also the capability and reliability of the equipment used for HVAC applications. Look for a knowledgeable and reliable vendor of HVAC equipment and supplies to make the most of a building’s capacity to supply air quality and comfort.