A study of homes by AirAdvice, Portland, OR, has found that nine out of 10 homes in the U.S. have varying degrees of indoor air quality (IAQ) problems.
The AirAdvice State of Our Indoor Air Report 2007 (SOIA-2007) — is based on an analysis of 49,130 indoor air quality tests conducted in homes across the U.S., in cooperation with a network of more than 1,500 HVAC professionals.
The report says 96.7% of all homes tested had at least one of six indoor air quality problems – particle allergens, chemical pollutants, carbon dioxide, temperature, humidity, and carbon monoxide. Most test homes had multiple indoor air problems. Eighty-three percent exhibited two or more of the six problem types; nearly half (49.8%) had three or more problems; 18.9% had four or more. “The data clearly shows us that there are a great many people that are likely to be living in a home with poor indoor air quality,” says Jim Crowder, AirAdvice CEO.
Crowder — in an interview with Contracting Business — says that the most surprising fact was high frequency of problems in U.S. homes, and high occurrence of at least two problems per home.
“We’re concerned that the two most frequent problems found in homes are elevated levels of particles and odors and gasses (VOCs), these are both well-known triggers for asthma, and serious causes for concerns,” Crowder says.
“With the tightness of homes, and building practices that have been in place for 30 years, we’re raising our children in toxin factories. That’s where AirAdvice’s concern is, for the consumer, for the individual who is suffering from some form of a respiratory illness.”
Crowder says AirAdvice has approximately 2,000 contractors using the AirAdvice IAQ program. Those contractors have access to individualized coaching to help them explain IAQ solutions to consumers; however, the SOIA-2007 report is available to the entire HVAC industry.
“We’re committed to providing education on our nickel, to all contractors in the industry,” says Crowder. Graphics from the report and 30-minute overviews will be available on the AirAdvice website.
Yulia Smirnova, AirAdvice marketing manager, says the report is intended to address consumers, many of whom are suffering from illnesses associated with poor indoor air quality.
“The report tells consumers why IAQ is important,” says Smirnova.
“We plan to distribute it widely online, and outside the Internet, towards consumers, to raise awareness among homeowners about IAQ issues affecting their comfort, safety and health,” Smirnova says. “It’s very important to educate people, especially the ones who suffer from asthma and allergies, that they can actually take control of their indoor environment, take actions to alleviate the symptoms and increase overall quality of life.”
Crowder says a commercial report, based on AirAdvice assessments of 750 commercial buildings, will be published by end of this summer, and will provide findings on the current state of performance of HVAC systems and controls in the commercial buildings, and identify opportunities and solutions.
The 28-page report is available for download at www.airadvice.com/company_info/publications.html.
Or, visit www.airadvice.com for additional indoor air quality resources and information.