The problem encountered with indoor air quality is the same we experience with that at the workplace (or even worse). It is considered to be more dangerous than outdoor air. This is because of the commercial and industrial indoor materials and assets that could present pollution to the atmosphere. We spend much time at the office, which means we are constantly breathing the air in the building. If the air is of poor quality, we are at risk of health issues that could easily be avoided with a bit of intervention.
Monitoring and guaranteeing good quality indoor air is essential, and it should be a shared responsibility between the owners and employees for safety purposes. So, why is air quality important? Air quality at work can drive or potentiate effective changes in the workplace.
Indoor air quality describes the impact of the air inside an apartment, facility, or building on an individual’s health and ability to be productive (work). It has become a critical concern to commercial companies, business owners, and employees as it has a significant impact on productivity and ability to work and generate income.
Statistics and researches carried out by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared indoor pollution as a prevalent threat that could affect any commercial organization, including the most adequately managed office.
Many contaminants could hamper the quality of air in the office. Amongst the numerous, the most common causes of poor air quality include;
Dust particles: Dust is a common environmental pollutant that could find its way into the office. Without adequate measures to improve ventilation, it could circulate through the office and trigger asthmatic attacks or allergies in some employees, causing absenteeism.
Moisture (Mold): When there is a drop in outdoor temperature, the indoor air becomes heated, leading to condensation that could be noticed on windows. This causes moisture in the air (humid air), a fertile environment for mold and mildew to grow. It could also be caused by water system damages that have been left unattended. Excess humidity in the air causes dehydration, tiredness and increases the risk of infection.
Chemical pollutants : Many materials found in the office building emit chemical pollutants. Such materials include office furniture and equipment, building supplies, wall coverings, and floor coatings. They could emit chemical contaminants like VOCs, PBB, formaldehyde, and CO2 that can cause health issues and reduce performance from employees.
When indoor air is contaminated, it is tough to notice. It hides behind the façade of fantastic air fresheners and air blown by the air conditioners. Meanwhile, polluted outdoor air is effortless to detect and can be handled appropriately.
Checking the indoor air quality is very simple. With the help of AIR8 monitors that measure the presence of PM, VOC, formaldehyde and CO2, you can have a real-time data available at your desk.
1. Ensure the office is always clean: Maintaining a clean office is the first step in having good quality indoor air. A clean office is at a lesser risk of breeding dust, mold, mildew, or allergens. Eco-friendly cleaning products are best recommended for cleaning as they do not emit harsh chemicals that could trigger health issues.
2. Embrace indoor air cleansing devices : Air purifiers are appliances that help purify the air and eliminate pollutants. They have proved helpful over the years and are efficient in maintaining good air quality.
3. Maintain sufficient ventilation: Ensure that all the air ventilation systems are unblocked. You will also need to ensure proper placements of office furniture and equipment because if they happen to be placed in front of vents, circulation will be affected. It would be best to change the HVAC filters often so that the clogged air filters do not interfere with airflow.
The responsibility of monitoring and maintaining good air quality in the office should be a shared one between the owners and employees. This way, it becomes easier to handle. However, professionals can be employed to handle this if you don’t want to do it yourself.