Ensuring Good Indoor Air Quality in Case of A Home Quarantine

The biggest issue impacting good indoor air quality is inadequate ventilation which often dates to the oil embargoes and energy crises of the early 1990's when efforts were made to eliminate outside air coming into buildings or conditioned air escaping from buildings. Older homes and buildings sometimes had 100% recirculated air. But to combat bad indoor air quality, make-up air is needed.

With reports of Coronavirus cases in N.C., here are some things to know about ensuring good indoor air quality in case of a home quarantine:

1. Make-up air is used to replace air which has been exhausted. If 10,000 cfm of air is removed from the room, then 10,000 cfm of clean tempered air must be introduced to the room to replace that which has been removed.

2. One indication of the lack of make-up air is to notice whether doors slam shut or are opened with difficulty. This condition indicates a difference of pressure between the room air and the outside air thus indicating that insufficient make-up air is being introduced properly into the room.

3. Another sign of insufficient make-up air is to check the operation of pilot lights of heaters and water heaters. If they are continually going out, it is an indication that makeup-air is being drawn into the room through the exhaust vents of the heating system and water heaters.

4. Ensuring good indoor air quality is dependent in part on minimizing the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide levels, keeping the humidity within the recommended range, and ensuring that all other air contaminants are exhausted from the building. This requires periodic air quality assessments.

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