Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term which refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. IAQ can be affected by gases (including carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds), particulates, microbial contaminants (mould, bacteria) or any mass or energy stressor that can induce adverse health conditions. Source control, filtration and the use of ventilation to dilute contaminants are the primary methods for improving indoor air quality in most buildings.Residential units can further improve indoor air quality by routine cleaning of carpets and area rugs. EPA has guidelines for frequency of cleaning based on traffic, number of household members,pets, children and smokers. Carpets and rugs act like an air filter and must be cleaned.
Determination of IAQ involves the collection of air samples, monitoring human exposure to pollutants, collection of samples on building surfaces and computer modelling of air flow inside buildings.