Your IAQ guide when renting or buying a new home

July 08 2015
IAQ guide

The subject of indoor air quality(IAQ) can be intimidating to people. This is because it’s a very under-reported and understudied area of human health.

In our work as an AC cleaning and Mold Remediation specialist, we have many questions with regards to how good are the indoor air quality or the condition of AC systems when new tenants rent or buyers purchase a new property. However, these questions only come once an occupant is residing within the property. So what about looking for signs of bad indoor air quality(IAQ) when you first view the property. Here are 4 tips on what to look for: 

Tip 1 – Does the Common area have moisture issues?

moisture and mold in apartments If you see that there is moisture or mold growth in the common area, this is a visible sign that the building has humidity issues. As shown in the picture to the left, the mold on the left shows that the chilled water pipe is sweating. This creates condensation which in turn causes mold growth. Also look for condensation on the diffusers.

This affects the apartment because if the building has moisture issues in the common areas, the apartment will also be affected.

This problem is primarily associated with apartments.

Tip 2 – Is the property humid?

humidity in buildings in Dubai As highlighted in tip 1, humidity in the building is the main cause for mold growth in AC systems.

When 99.9% of properties are built, the AC system is never cleaned. Inside the AC is dust, and being organic can rot and become a source for mold growth. For any organic material to become moldy there needs to be a source of moisture wherein the humidity in the air is the main cause.

Simple thermometers and humidity meters can be found in places such as Daiso for 5 dirhams.

The perfect levels of humidity should be:

40 to 50%51% to 59%60 to 69%70 to 100%

* Levels below 40 also are a cause for concern (dry skin, irritations, sore throats)

Tip 3 – Can you see any visible water damage?

water damage in apartments Water marks in the ceilings highlight that something is not right above the ceiling. This leak can be anything from an overflowing drain pan to a sewage pipe. Whatever the cause, it can have an impact on indoor air quality as air above the ceilings recirculates, so smells and moisture travels with the airflow.

Tip 4 – Are the supply air grills dirty?

Indoor Air Quality UAE In AC systems there are two vents, one supply’s air into the room, and one returns air back to the AC unit. The supply unit is usually the one that is closer to the AC Unit.

Attention of visible dirt should be paid primarily to the supply diffusers as this is where clean air comes from. If it is dirty then the system is dirty.

Just to point out that it is common that the return air vent has dirt on the vent. Many unscrupulous cleaning companies will always point to dirty return vents and explain how bad your AC is.

As a company we are always here to serve you. If you have any questions on Indoor Air Quality(IAQ) or would like us to assist you in anyway please contact us on 044219510.