January 4, 2021
Investing in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has never been more important or more top-of-mind than than it is in 2021. Over the past year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recognized indoor air quality as a way to evaluate the safety of physical spaces, causing most corporations and individual homeowners to look at IAQ for maybe the first time. The EPA is now also providing guidance about the importance of indoor air quality in schools.
Even before COVID-19, poor IAQ was estimated to be negatively impacting 33-50% of industries in the US, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And if this wasn’t enough, the massive wildfires in North America and Australia brought IAQ to the forefront more than ever before, especially as it's become increasing clear that outdoor air quality can have a significant impact on the air indoors.
As companies look to get employees back in-office and people hope to resume more “normal” lives as the vaccine rolls out, improved air quality is a must. Thus, many companies are investing in IAQ technology, whether it be in the systems themselves or in the companies that create the technology.
Awair is one of these companies. Emerson (NYSE: EMR), a leader in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls industry, as well as the creator of the highly-rated smart thermostat, Emerson Sensi, has recently invested in the San Francisco-based startup. Emerson sees monitoring air quality as integral to properly modifying and maintaining a healthy environment. Having 24/7 access to an environment’s air quality will only increase in popularity and necessity as time goes on and people become more sensitive to all the benefits of healthy air, not just in regards to safety from COVID-19 but productivity, happiness, and overall well-being.
Awair has also added a key Advisor and Board Member: Dustin DeVan. Dustin founded BuildingConnected which raised $52.7M in venture capital from top tier VCs and was acquired for $275 Million by Autodesk in 2018.
As consumers and commercial enterprises begin to address the importance of indoor air quality, Awair is uniquely poised to have its platform and technology empower people around the world to think about and improve indoor air quality for any building they enter. Dustin DeVan’s incredible expertise in the building space is going to be critical in growing awareness of indoor air anywhere people go as well.
With that, we are especially excited for 2021 and to be building the tools, community, and software platform to help people become aware of, understand, and improve indoor air quality. We hope you can join us in learning about sharing that awareness, and we are excited to have both Emerson and Dustin DeVan to help us build and connect people to improve IAQ anywhere they spend time indoors.
In December, I joined Awair as a key advisor and board member. I first became interested in the company after meeting its founders and hearing about their dedication to studying and improving indoor air quality. While they started the company to improve their children’s lives, their products can help anyone measure indoor air quality in real time. To me, that creates an enormous opportunity to improve people’s lives everywhere.
After several months of offices reopening and schools underway, we are seeing a shift towards indoor air quality monitoring. Facility managers want their buildings to be greener and smarter. Employers, similarly, want their workers to feel safe and comfortable. With a strong emphasis being placed on stopping the COVID-19 spread, it’s no wonder that companies are paying closer attention to ventilation and how this process relates to worker health.