Indoor Environmental Quality

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 consist of mechanical parts that provide air to building occupants. The air provided should be a comfortable temperature and humidity level and is free of harmful air pollutants.

Why is the operation and maintenance of HVAC systems important?

Improper operation and maintenance of HVAC systems is a common problem impacting 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