How To Improve Air Quality In The Office
Trying to figure out how to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) in the office? You’re not alone. Maintaining a healthy office environment for your employees and your customers is top-of-mind stuff.
Now that we’ve eliminated smoking from office spaces, it may seem like we’ve done all that needs to be done to keep the office air clean. But just because you can’t see it — like those blue clouds of tobacco smoke in offices of yesteryear — doesn’t mean that air doesn’t need a refresher from time to time. Or all the time.
Of course, as we all know, improved air quality is important for more than health reasons. Productivity is the name of the game, as well. Clean air in your office is important, and breathing clean air can lead to a boost in productivity.
How? Consider how bad it is for our lungs and our respiratory systems to be confined indoors all day breathing dirty air. Think of how many times you’ve decided to step outside for a “breath of fresh air.” Breathing in dirty air is bad for your lungs and could even contribute to the worsening of preexisting conditions, such as asthma or allergies.
Mold can be especially problematic. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has written extensively on the subject of mold in workspaces. It’s worth quoting at length.
“Most people experience no health effects from exposure to the molds present in indoor or outdoor air,” OSHA writes. “However, some individuals with underlying health conditions may be more sensitive to molds.”
More Health Effects
For example, OSHA continues, “individuals who have other allergies or existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, or other lung diseases may be more easily affected. Similarly, persons who have a weakened immune system tend to be more sensitive to molds. In addition, infants, children, and the elderly have been shown to be more susceptible to health problems attributable to molds.”
OSHA also lists a number of health effects associated with exposure to mold, including “allergic reactions similar to common pollen or animal allergies. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, eye irritation, coughing, congestion, aggravation of asthma, and skin rash. The three types of adverse health effects in humans caused by mold are allergy, infection, and toxin-mediated conditions.”
Poor IAQ is bad for business. Good IAQ, on the other hand, leads to better health, comfort, improved air quality (thanks to air filters, perhaps?), airflow, and a better overall indoor environmental position. So how do you improve air quality and help bring in cleaner air to your office? How might you get rid of molds, dust, and other indoor air pollutants? Here are some tips.
Tips On Improving Air Quality In The Office
#1: Don’t neglect preventative commercial maintenance for your heating and cooling system.
When was the last time you had a professional HVAC company service your commercial HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)? Neglecting this essential task is not a good idea. Routine maintenance is one of the best ways to keep your system running well.
But it also helps with your indoor air quality, too. Dust and debris also accumulate over time. If this is not cleaned out regularly, it will interfere with your system’s performance and pump in dirty air to your inside office space.
#2: Clean or replace your HVAC air filters.
Dirty air filters translate to dirty air. The air filters inside of your commercial furnace system should be replaced or cleaned every other month. This not only helps with the overall functionality of your system, but it will also help reduce the flow of mold spores, debris, dust, and other harmful pollutants that make their way into your office.
#3: Consider using an air purifier.
Air purification systems are a good investment for your office. They clean the air you breathe as it’s being brought into the space. They work alongside existing heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, which are easy to operate and can help bring about improved indoor air quality.
The air you breathe is important! Indoor air pollution can be very harmful. Whether it’s staying on top of preventative HVAC maintenance or taking an additional step beyond that and adding an air purifier to your office space, there is good reason to take control of your indoor air quality. You, your employees, and other building occupants should be breathing clean air every day.
Maintaining good indoor air quality benefits business. Poor indoor air quality can lead to lost productivity. But worse, it can lead to poor health, comfort levels within office buildings that begin to deteriorate, and serious danger to people with compromised health or respiratory problems.