IAQ industry growing

Demand for cleaner air has helped the indoor air quality (IAQ) industry grow, according to a report by Frost + Sullivan; a lack of innovation and high costs remain challenges.


With the IAQ industry continuing to grow, there is demand to improve technological development to keep the industry both sustainable and profitable. Air pollutants like tobacco, bacteria, mold, and other substances can cause serious health problems if air isn’t circulated and filtered out of buildings. The question for the industry going forward is finding the best way to maintain clean air and then develop the technology to improve on what is already being done.

Analysis by Frost + Sullivan in Trends in Indoor Air Quality in Buildings suggest filters are the best choice for current use and investment. Their reasoning stems from the fact that people are more likely to use filters because they are already familiar with the technology.

The best ways, currently, to maintain high air quality is either an HVAC system or a portable air purifier.

However, the industry does have some challenges going forward. The biggest one is that high initial costs prevent any deep market penetration. It is also daunting for new companies to break into the market because all of the basic technology is established. Potential investors and innovators are likely to throw themselves in with a larger, more established company than striking out on their own. This is especially true in an unstable, uncertain economy.

A potential solution, according to the study, is for companies to work together on projects and work with universities and college students on potential projects. The best way for the industry to continue to grow, however, is to continue informing consumers about the technology that exists and the developments and improvements being made for the future.

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, www.csemag.com

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