Every business wants to keep its employees healthy and productive. However, some business owners may not be fully aware of the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ) and how it can affect their employees’ health. IAQ is the quality of air within a building or other enclosed space. Poor IAQ can cause property damage as well as health issues for employees, including respiratory problems, headaches, and fatigue. Here are some tips for improving your commercial building’s IAQ.
1. Proper Ventilation
By definition, ventilation is the process of supplying fresh air and removing contaminated air. In a commercial setting, this is typically accomplished through a combination of mechanical systems, such as HVAC units and exhaust fans, and natural forces, like open windows and doors. Proper ventilation helps remove contaminants from the air, including dust, pollen, smoke, and spores. In addition, it helps to regulate temperature and humidity levels, which can impact both employee comfort and the lifespan of equipment.
2. Cleaning Up
Dust, dirt, and other allergens can build up over time, making the air inside of your building stuffy and difficult to breathe. By cleaning the facility regularly, you can help reduce the number of allergens in the air and make the building more comfortable for employees and visitors alike. In addition, regular cleaning can help prevent the growth of mold and mildew, which can cause serious health problems.
3. Keeping Optimal Temperature Levels
Maintaining optimal temperature levels of about 60-76 degrees Fahrenheit is critical for indoor air quality in commercial buildings. When the temperature is too hot or too cold, it can cause a buildup of condensation on surfaces, which can facilitate the propagation of mold and mildew. Additionally, extreme temperatures can cause dried-out sinuses, dehydration, and headaches. Therefore, maintaining optimal temperature levels can help improve employee productivity by making the working environment more comfortable.
A few simple steps can be taken to ensure that the temperature in a commercial building remains at a comfortable level. First, the building should be well-insulated to prevent heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Second, the HVAC system should be adequately maintained to ensure that it’s operating efficiently. Also, consider installing a programmable thermostat, which can be set to adjust the temperature throughout the day automatically.
4. Maintaining Optimal Humidity Levels
Not only can high humidity levels impact the comfort of those working inside, but they can also lead to health problems and decreased productivity. Another consideration is the impact on the building itself. Excessive moisture in the air can cause paint and wallpaper to peel, wood floors to warp, and metal surfaces to corrode. By keeping the humidity levels in your building within the optimal range, you can help to improve air quality and prevent damage to your property.
5. Cleaning and Maintaining HVAC Systems
There are many sources of indoor air pollution, including cleaning and maintenance products, off-gassing from furniture and carpeting, and emissions from cooking equipment. HVAC systems can also be a significant source of indoor air pollution. Dust, dirt, and other contaminants can build up in HVAC systems, and when the system is turned on, these contaminants can circulate throughout the building. That’s why it’s so essential to keep HVAC system clean and well-maintained to improve indoor air quality.
6. Invest in Quality Air Purifiers
Given that the average American spends about 90% of their time indoors, it’s crucial to ensure the air inside is as clean as possible. One way to do this is by investing in quality air purifiers. Air purifiers work by trapping airborne particles such as dust, pollen, and smoke, and they can also help remove odors and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). While purifiers are not a cure-all for poor air quality, they can help create a healthier environment.
Look for air purifiers certified by the EPA or another independent organization. These units have been tested and shown to be effective at reducing indoor air pollution.
7. Invest in Quality Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers help remove excess moisture from the air, which can prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Additionally, they can help to reduce static electricity and dust mites. While there are many cheap options on the market, it’s crucial to invest in dehumidifiers that are EPA approved in order to ensure that they’re effective and safe.
In addition, there are several mistakes to avoid when using a dehumidifier. First, the dehumidifier should be the right size for the space. A dehumidifier that’s too small will not be effective, while one that’s too large will use more energy than necessary. Second, the dehumidifier should be placed in the right location and not in an area where there’s a lot of dust or traffic, as this will cause the filter to clog more quickly.
8. Consider Indoor Plants
Indoor plants are an excellent way to improve indoor air quality in a commercial building. Studies have shown that plants can remove various harmful toxins from the air, including formaldehyde and carbon dioxide. In addition, plants help to increase humidity levels, which can reduce the risk of respiratory infections.
Furthermore, plants can also act as natural air filters, trapping dust and other allergens before they have a chance to circulate through the building. By adding a few potted plants to your office or workspace, you can create a cleaner and healthier environment for yourself and your employees.
9. Use a Commercial Vacuum Cleaner
A commercial vacuum cleaner is designed to remove more dirt, dust, and debris from your floors and carpets than a standard vacuum cleaner. It can also help reduce the number of allergens and other irritants in the air. Use a commercial vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are designed to trap small fine particles like pollen. In addition, a commercial vacuum cleaner will usually have stronger suction power than a standard vacuum cleaner, which means more efficiency and reliability.
10. Test Air Quality Regularly
The air quality in any enclosed space can deteriorate quickly, and this is especially true in commercial buildings where there are often many people and several activities taking place. One of the best ways to ensure the air in your building is clean and fresh is to test it frequently. By setting up a testing schedule, you can quickly identify any problems and take steps to correct them.
Additionally, regular testing can help you develop a baseline for what’s considered normal air quality in your facility. As a result, you’ll be better equipped to identify any future issues and take corrective measures immediately.
Improve Indoor Air Quality of Your Commercial Building Hassle-Free!
Indoor air quality is essential for the health and comfort of your employees and customers. At Beyer Mechanical, we offer professional commercial HVAC services to keep your building’s air quality at its best. We can design and install a new HVAC system that’s tailored to your specific needs, or we can provide regularly scheduled maintenance and repair services to keep your existing system in top condition. Don’t let poor indoor air quality put a damper on your Austin, TX business. Call Beyer Mechanical today, and let us help you breathe easier.