Published 5 Sep 2023
What is an Indoor Air Quality Assessment Checklist?
An indoor air quality assessment checklist is a tool used by building managers, facility managers, homeowners, employers, and environmental health professionals and inspectors to evaluate the quality of the air inside buildings or other enclosed spaces. It includes a series of questions and tasks to identify potential sources of indoor air pollutants, assess overall air quality, and ensure a safe and healthy indoor environment.
In this article
- Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality
- Benefits of Using an Indoor Air Quality Assessment Checklist
- What to Include in One
- Guide on Creating an Indoor Air Quality Assessment Checklist
- How to Use a Checklist for Assessing Indoor Air Quality
- FAQs About Indoor Air Quality Assessment Checklists
- Efficiently Assess Indoor Air Quality Using SafetyCulture
- Related Indoor Air Quality Assessment Checklists
Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality
While indoor air pollutants and their sources may vary, the overall impact on human health remains consistent, regardless of the climate and environmental conditions of a particular country or market. Hence, it’s important to check and comply with laws and regulations related to indoor air quality that are specific to regions or countries.
It’s also essential to note that inadequate air quality assessments, ventilation, and prolonged exposure to indoor air pollutants can lead to a range of health problems such as the following:
- Respiratory Irritation and Infections (caused by dust, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander)
- Asthma Exacerbation
- Eye Irritation
- Skin Irritation
- Fatigue and Headaches
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Cardiovascular Effects
- Aggravation of Chronic Conditions
- Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
- Reduced Cognitive Function
- Long-Term Health Risks
- Impact on Vulnerable Populations
- Decreased Quality of Life
Benefits of Using an Indoor Air Quality Assessment Checklist
Offering a range of benefits for both individuals and organizations, using a checklist for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) assessments provides a structured approach to evaluating and improving indoor air quality, which can have significant positive effects on health, comfort, and regulatory compliance. Here are some key benefits:
- Healthier Indoor Environment
- Improved Air Quality
- Enhanced Comfort
- Increased Productivity
- Regulatory Compliance
- Preventive Maintenance
- Cost Savings
- Occupant Satisfaction
- Property Value
- Data-Driven Decision-Making
What to Include in One
IAQ assessment checklists can have unique features depending on factors such as the type of building (e.g., residential, commercial, industrial), specific environmental concerns, and local regulations.
Even so, this tool must at least include key items related to the following:
- Visual Inspection and Maintenance
- Potential Pollutant Sources
- Temperature and Humidity
- Air Filtration and Cleaning
- Ventilation and Air Exchange (including the assessment of Heating, Ventilation, and Airconditioning (HVAC) systems)
- Occupant Activities
- Recommendations and Action Steps
Guide on Creating an Indoor Air Quality Assessment Checklist
To be intentional in using a checklist when conducting IAQ assessments, careful consideration of various factors and best practices must be done when creating it.
Here’s a quick guide you can use to help you create an indoor air quality assessment checklist:
- Determine the scope and purpose of the checklist to ensure the checklist is tailored to the specific environment. Alternatively, you can opt to include a dropdown of multiple-choice items to help the user indicate the facility or building being assessed.
- Familiarize yourself with relevant indoor air quality guidelines and regulations from organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), World Health Organization (WHO), and local health departments to help you structure your checklist based on established standards. You can also check an EPA indoor air quality checklist for reference.
- Divide your checklist into categories that cover different aspects of indoor air quality. This way, you can create a more logical process of IAQ assessments as guided by the checklist.
- Incorporate visual inspections and ensure that your checklist emphasizes factors that directly impact occupant health and safety.
- Create a flexible indoor air quality inspection checklist that can be adapted to different spaces and situations. Include space for additional notes and comments to account for unique circumstances.
- Within each category or assessment item, provide space for recommendations or action steps to guide users on what to do if a potential issue is identified.
- As indoor air quality factors and guidelines evolve over time, make sure to regularly review and update your checklist to stay current with best practices and regulations.
How to Use a Checklist for Assessing Indoor Air Quality
Follow these steps to effectively use an indoor air quality assessment checklist:
- Start by visually inspecting the area. Look for signs of mold, water damage, leaks, and any potential sources of indoor air pollutants.
- Identify and note down potential pollutant sources such as cleaning products, paints, chemicals, smoking areas, and any other relevant factors.
- Measure and record the temperature and humidity levels in different areas. Note whether they fall within recommended ranges.
- Examine air filtration systems and their cleanliness and functionality.
- Check the ventilation systems, HVAC filters, and air vents to assess whether they’re functioning properly and delivering adequate fresh air.
- Consider any occupant activities that might contribute to indoor air quality.
- If applicable, measure carbon dioxide levels using a monitor to assess ventilation adequacy.
- Record your observations, measurements, and any notes on the checklist. Be detailed and accurate in your documentation.
- Plan for regular follow-up assessments to track improvements and ensure that indoor air quality is being maintained.
FAQs About Indoor Air Quality Assessment Checklists
Indoor air quality assessment checklists can vary based on the type of building or environment being assessed, as well as the specific concerns and goals of the assessment. Here are some commonly used types:
Yes, they can be extremely helpful in evaluating and improving indoor air quality for workplace and office safety. Since poor indoor air quality can lead to a range of health issues and discomfort among employees, assessing IAQ is crucial to avoid productivity and well-being issues. Here’s how an IAQ assessment checklist can help:
Yes, checklists for IAQ assessments can assist building owners and managers in meeting regulatory requirements related to indoor air quality. Also, reports generated using checklists can serve as documentation to prove compliance with air quality standards.
Efficiently Assess Indoor Air Quality Using SafetyCulture
Why use SafetyCulture?
Toward operational improvement, the process of streamlining IAQ assessments can be made more efficient with the power of technology. By leveraging digital tools, organizations can enhance the accuracy and accessibility of their IAQ assessment efforts, ensuring that no crucial aspect is overlooked while reducing the potential for human error.
A holistic operations platform like SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) enables assessors to easily input data, generate real-time reports, and even access relevant regulations and guidelines on the go. Apart from those, they can also do the following:
- Ensure regular IAQ assessments to adapt to changing environmental conditions, facility needs, and other health and safety factors using the Scheduling feature.
- Standardize IAQ assessments to cover every key aspect across various sites in your organization using checklists and templates.
- Continuously monitor indoor air quality and ideal levels using IoT sensors.
- Identify areas of improvement related to the quality of indoor air by raising Issues. Assign corrective actions to responsible personnel to be addressed promptly.
- Communicate results and findings of conducted assessments to concerned stakeholders by generating in-depth reports in various formats, including PDF, Excel, Word, or Weblink, and store them on SafetyCulture’s secure cloud.
- Gain insights into your IAQ efforts if they’re meeting minimum standards using the Analytics dashboard.
- Effectively equip employees and inspectors with the right knowledge and tools (e.g., Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)) on assessing indoor air quality by deploying training programs.
- Manage the safety of lone IAQ inspectors and assessors using SHEQSY by SafetyCulture.
- Share updates and best practices on IAQ by creating and using Heads Ups.
Related Indoor Air Quality Assessment Checklists
Use this comprehensive checklist when investigating a facility’s indoor air quality based on set requirements and health protocols. Verify whether HVAC systems are operational, document IAQ observations, and assess compliance with IAQ standards.