Split Units

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Energy use for heating and air-conditioning accounts for more than 25% of the primary energy consumed in commercial buildings in the U.S. Parasitic energy use, the energy used to power the fans and pumps which transfer heating and cooling from central heating and cooling plants to conditioned spaces, can represent a significant portion of this energy (from 20% to 60%of HVAC electricity use in a building).

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the effect, good or bad, of the contents of the air inside a structure, on its occupants. Good IAQ is the quality of air which has no unwanted gases or particles in it at concentrations which will adversely affect someone. Poor IAQ occurs when gases or particles are present at an excessive concentration so as to affect the satisfaction or health of occupants.

In minor instances, poor IAQ may only be annoying to one person. At the extreme, it could be fatal to all of the occupants of a structure. It is important to note that the concentration of the contaminant or contaminants is crucial. Potentially infectious, toxic, allergenic, or irritating substances are always present in the air. There is nearly always a threshold level below which no effect occurs.


What is the relationship between indoor and outdoor air quality (pollution)?
Generally, pollutants present in the outdoor environment are present at a somewhat lower concentration than outside (probably 10 to 90% in most cases). There are several reasons for this. Some pollutants are absorbed by materials in the building. Others deteriorate or react chemically and so disappear.

Still others may be filtered out by the ventilation system. Also as it takes some time for the outdoor air to enter in quantities, there may be a delay from the time a contaminant appears outdoors, to when it becomes a problem indoors. Smog from outdoors reaches its peak indoors some time after the outdoor peak.

Outdoor contaminants may be present indoors at a sufficient concentration to affect the occupants. Examples are pollen and mold spores from outdoors causing hay fever and allergies indoors; and high smog levels affecting occupants inside a building. Incidentally, there is no such thing as a good smog day close to a major highway (expressway/freeway).

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