Indoor Environmental Quality: Building Ventilation

Building Ventilation

ceiling vent

Building ventilation is the circulation of air throughout a building. The ventilation or the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system of a building supplies and removes air naturally (windows) and/or mechanically to and from a space. HVAC systems most often consist of mechanical parts which should provide air to building occupants at a comfortable temperature and humidity that is free of harmful concentrations of air pollutants.

Why is the operation and maintenance of HVAC systems important?

Improper operation and maintenance of HVAC systems is one of the most common problems that impact workplace indoor environmental quality (IEQ). HVAC systems include all of the equipment used to ventilate, heat/cool, and humidify/dehumidify the building. The systems also serve to dilute and remove contaminants from occupied areas, including:

  • carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide
  • tobacco smoke
  • molds and bacteria
  • cleaning products
  • copy machines and printers
  • pesticides
  • vehicle exhaust
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2022