Many people worry about the outside air. They feel anxious about pollutants. Allergy sufferers get concerned about pollen and mold counts. These are legitimate concerns, but the reality is that the air we breathe indoors can be just as harmful. So, what can be done to improve indoor air quality (IAQ)?
The IAQ of a building impacts the health of its occupants. Morale suffers when staff members develop illnesses or have allergies triggered by low air quality in the buildings where they work. Worker absenteeism and the resulting loss in productivity has a huge impact on the financial health of businesses. There are steps that building owners and property managers can do to improve IAQ.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality improves significantly by implementing these 5 simple tips.
1. Optimize Ventilation
Proper ventilation is essential to the healthy functioning of a building. Like our body’s respiratory system, air needs to pass in and out without obstruction. Maintaining clean ducts and coils is an important part of this. The PURE-Duct Cleaning uses high-pressure air turbulence to remove dust and debris buildup in ductwork. These particles are then removed with an industrial-strength negative air vacuum using a HEPA filter to improve IAQ.
The PURE-Steam HVAC coil cleaning disinfects, not just coils, but the entire interior of air handling units. This cleaning method pushes dust and debris through the coils thereby killing bacteria and mold and removing allergens and odors. Air purifiers can be purchased for placement in common areas of buildings to continuously purifier air and filter out harmful particles and pollutants.
2. Replace HVAC Filters
Filter replacement goes hand in hand with optimizing ventilation. But it bears mentioning in its own right. Dirty HVAC filters are no longer up to the task of keeping allergens and pollutants out of the air. HVAC systems need to be inspected and maintained with filters regularly replaced to maintain the optimal circulation of air, .
3. Good, Routine Housekeeping
Regular, scheduled cleaning of buildings is essential to maintaining healthy IAQ. This includes vacuuming of carpeting, draperies, and upholstery and deep cleaning when necessary. When bacteria and germs get removed from surfaces such as counters, desktops, and floors, as well as bathrooms, break rooms, kitchens, classrooms, waiting rooms, and other common areas, they do not circulate throughout the building where they can cause illness. Routine housekeeping is a best practice to continuously improve indoor air quality.
4. Prevent Mold
Any issues with mold should be addressed immediately with steps taken for the prevention of its return. Humid conditions inside the building provide the ideal environment for mold to develop and thrive. Mold colonies release tiny spores that travel through the air where they circulate throughout the building and cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma-like symptoms. Having a plan to mitigate and prevent mold ensures better IAQ.
5. Limit VOCs
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, come from many cleaning products, paints, waxes, and varnishes. A concentration of VOCs indoors exposes building inhabitants to a higher level of pollutants, sometimes long after the product’s use. Knowing what products contain VOCs and eliminating or limiting their use will definitely improve IAQ.
Avoid Sick Building Syndrome
Failure to maintain good indoor air quality has significant consequences for businesses. When chemicals enter the building through intake vents, along with any contaminants released by carpeting, upholstery, cleaning agents, and office equipment, they circulate throughout the building where they can make inhabitants sick. Known as Sick Building Syndrome, this impacts employees, customers, students, or whoever the principal building occupants happen to be. Contracting with a certified and licensed partner improves IAQ by ensuring that building health is maintained and the entire HVAC system stays clean and running at maximum efficiency.
Seek a Specialized Solutions Partner
Make occupant well-being a priority and improve indoor air quality today. Our Building Sciences team can provide a Building Health Check to evaluate indoor environmental conditions or an HVAC Hygiene Assessment to identify cleanliness and performance issues within the HVAC system. Both provide a detailed baseline and guidance on how to keep your IAQ optimized.
Contact us for more information or to get started on your next project. 1-800-422-7873