In an effort to address indoor air quality (IAQ) issues commonly faced by hospitality establishment owners and managers, Texas hospitality industry leaders have joined forces to form Clearing The Air: The Texas Hospitality Coalition on Indoor Air Quality, Inc.

The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA), Texas Hotel & Motel Association (TH&MA), and Texas Licensed Beverage Association (TLBA) formed the coalition earlier this summer to help educate owners and managers on ways to enhance IAQ in their establishments, in an effort to improve customer and employee satisfaction. David DeSilva, president of the TLBA and co-founder of the coalition, said one of the group's goals is to identify and understand the various ventilation products and services currently available to restaurants, bars, and hotel/motel owners.

"I recently learned that I could improve the IAQ and even reduce housekeeping costs in one of my nightclubs in Austin by simply upgrading my filters," he says. "This is the kind of knowledge we hope to impart to other business owners."

Don Hansen, executive director of the TH&MA and coalition co-founder, said that the team is also working with the hvac industry to develop a best practices guide that both business owners and hvac contractors and engineers can follow when upgrading or installing new ventilation systems.

"There can be a number of complex factors involved in retrofit or new construction projects," Hansen notes as reason for developing the new guidelines.

Hansen said the coalition will be working with the Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Association, the Mechanical Contractors Associations of Texas, and other IAQ experts to form a task force to develop the guide.

Other projects will include a best practices model site, providing IAQ materials to establishments, and promoting a free ventilation telephone consulting service available to hospitality industry owners and managers.