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PBI Services: Building Inspections - Thermal Imaging - Indoor Environmental Consulting

Indoor Environmental Consulting

 - Contact PBI for more information: Phone 516-295-2581 or 631-474-1534 or 212-789-9066

Indoor Air Quality

What is Indoor Air Quality?

Sample IAQ Report with
Laser Particle Counter

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term used to describe the characteristics of the indoor climate of a building, with special concern for the impact on occupant health and comfort. Most people think of a comfortable environment involving temperature, humidity, and 'fresh air'.

Professional Building Inspectors is a full service indoor environmental testing company. Members of our staff hold the highest certification offered by the American Indoor Air Quality Council, the CIEC (Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant).

Our clients include town housing authorities, public schools, large commercial buildings, homes, and the Ministry of Education in Bermuda.

Why all the concern now?

During the 1970's, ventilation requirements were changed to conserve fossil fuels and virtually air-tight buildings emerged. These days we see that tighter building construction combined with:

  • People spending more time indoors
  • Greater awareness of IAQ in the media, with litigation, and government activity
  • More indoor pollutants with office equipment

According to the EPA, occupant health and comfort can be adversely affected by indoor air pollution. In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.

In addition, people who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants for the longest periods of time are often those most susceptible to the effects of indoor air pollution. Such groups include the young, the elderly, and the chronically ill.

What Causes Indoor Air Problems in your home?

Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.

Pollutant Sources

Some examples of sources of indoor air pollution in any home are:

  • water-damaged carpets and building materials, which can harbor mold and bacteria
  • deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation
  • central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices

If too little outdoor air enters a building, pollutants can accumulate to levels that can pose health and comfort problems. Contact our office at 516-295-2581 for more information on indoor air quality testing.