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   Home » Air Quality » AK-IAQ » AK-IAQ Measurements

Indoor Air Quality Measurements:

Facility Managers and Residents can find it challenging to determine if their buildings have exceptional, fair, or even poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Measuring and testing indoor air quality is an imperfect science with many variables, and the path to establishing whether or not a building has healthy indoor air is rarely clear cut. The most important tools for evaluating indoor air quality are your nose, eyes, and ears; however, there are additional measurements that can help assess indoor air quality in buildings.

While investigating any indoor air quality situation, be aware of the entire picture. Many parameters that may be contributing to an overall problem must be considered and checked. Also keep in mind that it is not uncommon to find multi-layered problems; finding and solving one issue may not get to the root cause. Think of an investigation as peeling an onion; as each layer is removed, another is exposed. Be sure to understand the exact time and place that problems are suspected, since many indoor air quality problems are transitory. Use common sense along with the proper tools and keep investigating and correcting problems until complaints stop.

Measurement Guidelines
The measurement guidelines outlined in the links below will provide a basic introduction to various measurements that may help assess indoor air quality. In addition to these guidelines, you may need to refer to the operatorís manual for details on operation of the instrument. We do not recommend specific instruments. You should select an instrument based on your goals and approach. For example, I look for instruments that are low cost and measure one parameter. I am generally working with large groups of students and want to get everyone involved in making the measurements.

  IAQ Measurement Guidelines:
* Files are in pdf format

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Monoxide


Thermal Comfort (Temperature / Relative Humidity)

Surface Temperature
Ventilation (Air Flow)


Volatile Organic Compounds


Moisture Control / Mold

Combined IAQ Measurement Guidelines


Mansel Nelson, 928/523-1275,

The development of the Alaska Indoor Air Quality website was supported with funding from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 Indoor Air Program.

Environmental Education Outreach Program
PO Box 5768 * Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5768
Phone: 928/523-1275 * Fax: 928/523-1280 * email:

Last updated: August 23, 2010

Norhtern Arizona University Insitute for Tribal Environmental Professionals Environmental Protection Agency