The U.S. Federal Government reports that studies increasingly show that the air inside our homes and offices is often dirtier than the outdoor air. And since most people spend the majority of their time indoors—up to 90 percent of their time, in fact—the quality of our indoor air is clearly a top health concern. Chances are quite high that the air quality inside your office is not what it should be. However, there are things you can do to improve your air quality.
Indoor Air Pollutants
Many different substances can contaminate the air inside of your office building. Common indoor air pollutants that you might find in your office include:
- Subtle emissions from flame retardant chemicals used on furniture
- Chemicals from certain air fresheners
- Carbon monoxide
Sometimes these pollutants are introduced from the outside. For example, pesticide residue might enter through doors or windows or be introduced when a fan designed for ventilation pulls in air from outdoors. Others, such as mold, might grow indoors on wet carpet, ceilings, or walls. Often, indoor air quality goes down when people are traveling or otherwise away from the office for a period of time. No matter the source of indoor air pollutants, they pose a significant health risk.
Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Fortunately, there are many solutions if the quality of your indoor air is poor in your office. The solution that’s best for you depends on the types of pollutants in your building and the structure of the building. Here are some effective ways to improve the quality of your office’s indoor air:
An air cleaner can filter the air and remove much of the particulate matter that lowers the quality of your office’s indoor air. Many air cleaners are available on the market today, and you can choose from cleaners that service only single rooms to professionally installed cleaners that clean the air throughout an entire building. These cleaners are most effective with particulates such as dust and hair and less effective with gaseous pollutants.
Increased Cleaning Schedule
One of the easiest ways to improve the quality of your indoor air is to implement a regular office cleaning schedule. Since most offices have already done this, it may be wise to consider increasing the frequency of cleanings this summer. This will help keep dust at bay, and it can even help your HVAC system work more efficiently.
Use HEPA Filters
Not all HVAC filters are alike. HEPA filters screen out more particulates than non-HEPA filters. Although HEPA filters are more expensive than the alternative filters, they are an easy and cost-effective solution to improve air quality indoors.
Stop Mold at the Source
Mold is one of the most common and potentially dangerous indoor air pollutants, and it is far better to prevent mold from growing than to have to get rid of mold that has taken hold. Mold thrives where it is wet, so the best way to prevent it from growing is to make sure there are no places where excessive moisture can collect. Any leaky plumbing fixtures and pipes should be fixed immediately. Damp ceiling tiles, walls, and other structural components should be dried and repaired right away. Make getting rid of dampness a priority, especially in the summer. The warmer temperatures make it even more likely that mold will grow.
There are many other things you can do to improve the air quality of your office building and make an investment in the health of your employees and customers. For more information on how improving the quality of your indoor air can benefit you, see One Choice Mechanical’s indoor air solutions>indoor air solutions or call us at (502) 242-8204.