MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. – The global indoor air quality (IAQ) industry has witnessed fast-paced growth over the past few years. Additionally, technological development is of primary importance for stakeholders in this domain.

Large amounts of small particles suspended in the air can be visible through a ray of light that enters a building. These include airborne particles such as dust or tobacco particles; bioaerosols, for example, bacteria, mold, fungi and dander; volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde; and combustion products, namely, carbon dioxide. The primary sources of such pollutants are combustion gases, building materials, furniture and moisture.

Exposure to air pollutants can cause serious health problems, including acute sneezing, throat irritation, asthma attacks, nausea and others. Hence, it is imperative to have healthy air circulating inside the home.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.technicalinsights.frost.com) Trends in Indoor Air Quality in Buildings finds that filters are the obvious choice for manufactures to invest in and develop, as they are the traditional method of filtering any material and consumers tend to have a strong belief in such technology.

“Although there are no regulations on indoor air quality, increasing health concerns coupled with growing awareness provides an opportunity for manufacturers in this space to address the issues associated with this industry,” said Technical Insights Industry Manager W. F. Kee. “A growing number of manufacturers in the global IAQ industry are incorporating technologies such as ultraviolet (UV) disinfection and photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) that have the capability to combat indoor air pollutants.”

There are two ways to maintain better air quality. Measures are available to prevent pollutants from entering the indoor air or contaminated air can be purified through an air purification system fitted in a heating, ventilation or air conditioning (HVAC) system. Portable air purifiers are also utilizable.

Although the prospects for the market look upbeat, there are some challenges that are proving to be growth bottlenecks. High initial costs are deterring deep market penetration. In this mature market, product differentiation is a great challenge for companies and an even greater one for new participants entering the fray. Manufacturers use one or a combination of the handful of technologies used to purify indoor air.

New participants may find it a safe option to merge with a company that has a strong foothold in this market. Partnering and collaborating with a company in a different region will mutually benefit both companies. The large parent company can provide the necessary financial assistance and infrastructure to its partner.

IAQ product developers could collaborate with universities and research institutes to innovate new technologies, processes and products. The company can utilize the research institute and university’s credibility to improvise on its products.

Awareness programs or workshops are essential to showcase the capabilities of the technology. Consumers must be updated on the latest technologies available in the market.

“To promote the use of such technologies, it is important to target specific geographic areas,” said Technical Insights Analyst Anupkumar Patil. “Traditional filtration, along with new technologies such as PCO and UV disinfection, can be more successful in North America, where health issues are afforded top priority.”

Trends in Indoor Air Quality in Buildings, a part of the Technical Insights subscription, provides information on the emerging opportunities and potential applications of the innovative technologies available in the market. Further, this research service includes detailed technology analysis and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

Frost & Sullivan’s Technical Insights research group is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters and research services.

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