5 Indoor Air Quality Trends for 2022

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March 2, 2022

If indoor air quality (IAQ) wasn’t on our minds before the pandemic, it is now. We have a heightened awareness of the factors that contribute to the spread of airborne diseases, such as COVID-19. Looking ahead to the health and wellness trends in homes and offices, it is clear that we cannot ignore the invisible. The quality of the air we breathe not only affects virus transmission, but can also pose both short- and long-term health risks if not monitored. 

In fact, a recent survey by Honeywell found that 72% of office workers are concerned about the air quality in their buildings. They want regular updates on the quality of their building’s air. Some of those people would even consider leaving their job if their employer doesn’t take steps to create a healthier indoor environment. While this should come at no surprise since employees are reexamining where they want to live and work, it is eye-opening for leaders. The status quo will not do. There is an urgent call for investing in clean indoor air today. 

We asked our Awair product experts for trends in IAQ in 2022. Here’s the short list: 

  • Need for smart data platforms - Labor shortages and skill gaps are hampering progress for establishing and maintaining IAQ goals. Building management and engineering teams need smart data platforms that take the guesswork out of IAQ management. Automation will be essential for the collection of air data.

  • More conversations around IAQ - There has been a recent uptick in surveys from companies like Honeywell and Panasonic on the topic of IAQ. Major media outlets like Fast Company, Forbes, The Boston Globe, and Time are also covering the indoor air quality market. Without a doubt, there is an increasing demand for air quality information. This interest is here to stay due to the pandemic and climate change.

  • Better filtration and ventilation - Building owners and operators made quick moves in 2020 to better filter and ventilate their indoor spaces. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement, however. It’s important to understand the IAQ factors to look for, such as humidity, temperature, CO2, TVOCs (total volatile organic compounds), and PM2.5 (fine particulate matter), and to advocate for better filtration, which can look like investing in IAQ at home and requesting upgrades in your workspace.

  • Connecting IAQ and ESG Goals - Juan Quintás, Board Member of Metrikus, has said that “indoor air quality is the next frontier of sustainability.” As organizations think about their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, they must build a roadmap to improve and ensure indoor air ventilation. Cost savings and sustainability will be explored through continuous, real-time data monitoring like never before.

  • Going Back to the Basics - Many commercial businesses went straight into reactive mode during COVID-19, which is completely understandable. Taking a step back, it is challenging to know if the solutions implemented are contributing positively to IAQ without actually measuring the key air factors. There will be a more targeted approach to IAQ in 2022 with monitoring first to adjust air filters, dehumidifiers, etc. 

Awareness of indoor air quality at home and in the office is rising to a new level. With changes to our living habits along with evolving environmental conditions, we want to see what’s in the air we breathe because we are nothing without our health. Monitoring the air is the first step in understanding the activities that contribute to IAQ anywhere we spend time indoors.