There are many things to be considered when it comes to air quality, and even in controlled artificial environments maintaining good-quality air often requires extra work and diligence. However, improving air quality doesn't have to be hard, and there are a number of useful steps you can take.
Artificial environments provide many solid advantages. Key conditions such as temperature and humidity can be finely controlled to ensure optimum comfort or for other purposes such as preservation of delicate substances and objects. However, overall air quality is a complicated and multi-faceted concept, involving some factors that can't be controlled in such an easy automated way. Nonetheless, there are a number of fairly straightforward measures that can improve the quality of air.
One of the problems with artificial environments is that dust, allergens, and particles in the air are often circulated over and over without escaping the system and leaving the environment. Indeed, air circulation as a result of heating and cooling systems often means that particles are more likely to be drifting in the air than in other environments, and therefore more likely to be inhaled. Though these problems are in no way unique to artificial environments, they can present a bigger concern. The result can be aggravated allergies, respiratory irritation and increased danger of certain health conditions. Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene within artificial environments is therefore one of the most important methods of improving air quality.
Keep Humidity at Healthy Levels
A great many artificial environments allow humidity to be controlled, but the role of humidity in providing healthy and good-quality air is often under-appreciated. Humidity should not be set far outside of the 30-50% range. Greater amounts of moisture, in particular, will promote the presence and reproduction of biological allergens such as dust mites and various species of mould. If specific dehumidifying equipment is not available, air conditioning will have a dehumidifying effect and will also help reduce pollen levels in the summer. Observing basic steps to control moisture and avoid excess humidity, such as ensuring any steam can be properly ventilated, can also be extremely helpful.
Maintain All Environmental Control Systems Properly
The ability to control conditions within artificial environments is one of their great assets, but maintenance of all control systems and equipment is important if you wish to maintain good air quality. Once again, allergens are one of the key things this will keep in check, and most particularly biological allergens such as mould and fungi, as well as other health hazards such as micro-organisms that can cause disease. If these organisms get into certain parts of environmental control systems that circulate air, most notably air conditioning systems, and find that they have access to suitably moist conditions, they can remain there and breed rapidly. The system will then circulate a steady supply of allergens or disease agents through the air of the artificial environment, and this can lead to a number of health problems. Legionnaires' Disease is one of the most well known and most serious diseases that is spread in this way.