Do people care about indoor air quality?

I subscribe to Consumer Reports magazine.  In the June 2012 edition, there was a feature article on indoor air quality.  It talks about all the regular stuff: mold, radon, carbon monoxide, VOCs, etc.

What I found interesting is that the Consumer Reports National Research Center performed a survey to ascertain the importance of indoor air quality to the US consumer.  What percent of Americans do you think considered indoor air quality to be a threat to their health?

A paltry 9% considered it be a threat to health.  Furthermore, an astounding 70% weren’t concerned about indoor air quality at all!   If everyone understood how the indoor environment affect health, more than 9% would consider it to be an important threat.

Do you think Consumer Reports numbers are accurate?  Please comment on my blog!



Top 5 IAQ Books for your Library

Behind every great indoor air nerd is a great technical library.  No matter how much one tries to memorize, it’s impossible to recall all the facts and figures required of professionals in this field.  A good library is not a recommendation… it is a must!

In the United States a typical industrial company will spend about 3.5% of revenues on research and development.  What percent are you spending on personal development and research?  The field of indoor air quality is way too complex for professionals to brush off the importance of this investment.  I recommend a minimum of 1% of your company’s revenue should be put into purchasing references and educational material.

Once you commit to building a library, you’ll need to decide which books and standards to start purchasing.  For some general guidance, here is a link to the Indoor Sciences IAQ Library.

What are your top 5 favorite IAQ references?  Please publish your list in the comments section below.  To get the conversation going, here is my top 5 list: Continue reading

4 Rules to Keeping Documents Organized

Many students ask me how I keep all my books and references organized.  In the technical fields of indoor air quality, HVAC, building science, industrial hygiene and green buildings, you must have a good library.  But a good library is useless if you don’t know how to access the information!

Rule #1: Go Electronic

Information is most easily accessed when it is on your computer.  These days you often have the option of purchasing documents and publications in an electronic format.  Do it.  Sure it is a lot easier to read a printed document than some PDF on your computer.  However, three years from now when you are trying to recall the content, you’ll sure wish you had it electronically.  Let’s say you are trying to remember what Joe Lstiburek said in his ASHRAE Journal column from last year about advanced framing.  You’ll still be digging through some dusty magazines long after I have found the PDF of the article on my harddrive. Continue reading

Does the world need another blog?

By one report, there are 150 million english language blogs in existence. Does the world really need another blog? Probably not, but you don’t have a say in the matter.

Of all those millions, there is not a single, well maintained blog dedicated to indoor air quality (IAQ). If you know of any, do tell… This could be the shortest-lived blog of all time!

Nevertheless, I’m sure I can add something of value to the blogosphere. More and more people are interested in indoor air quality. How do I know? People used to avoid conversation with me at parties. Now they actually seek me out!

Not only will I be blogging about IAQ, but I’ll mix in some green building strategies, a little HVAC, building science, microbiology and maybe even one of my world famous corny IAQ jokes. I’m guessing this IAQ blog will be frequented by the 2,000+ students that I’ve taught through the years. Even non-students are welcome though!

I’m getting my video studio set up. Soon I’ll be adding some video blogs where I’ll do some product demonstrations. My goal is to make this an active IAQ blog, one where you can actually learn something about the air you breathe. Well, at least the air you breathe inside.

If you ever want me to ramble on a topic, just let me know!