Indoor air quality in the home is something we all are aware of and take care of, but we usually do not pay much attention to the air quality in our work or office space. Most people spend around 8-9 hours a day and 5 days a week in the office and hence, considering the air quality in the office is obviously crucial too, yet often times overlooked.
Sometimes, with many employees working in a small or confined office space, dust and dirt particles can build up very swiftly. What additionally adds on to this is sometimes the dust from any nearby construction sites or office building renovations. If not taken care of, the continuous debris build-up can lead to what’s termed “sick building syndrome”, affecting the people working in the office.
So, it’s clearly necessary to take the time to investigate the reasons behind any possible substandard air quality in the office. along with addressing any issues found as soon as possible. If you are able to find out about the office air filtration system and air filters used in it, then your work becomes much easier. Hence, today, we will discuss the cause of inferior air quality and its improvement in an office space.
Learning The Reason Behind The Inferior Air Quality
Before trying to find ways to improve the air quality, the first priority is to locate the reason behind degrading air quality in the office. Just putting an air purifier or any air filter will not help unless you know which pollutants are affecting the air quality. Once you find the cause, you can get a best custom air filter made according to your need or employ an air filtration solution as per your requirement. So, here are some of the common things that cause air quality inside the office to degrade:
1. Biological Contaminants
The air filter of the filtration system left unchecked for a long time or not addressing the water leaks in the office, or non-maintenance or cleaning the office space can result in the development of bacteria or even molds. These biological contaminants can cause infection and decline the air quality. According to some studies, around 15 million Americans suffer from allergies that can get even worse if exposed to such contaminants.
2. Chemical Pollutants
Another cause of inferior air quality in the office can be chemical pollutants. It mainly includes tobacco smoke, emission of gases such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide from certain equipment, contaminants built up from chemical spills, and contaminants developed from the everyday waste of offices, such as cleaning supplies and paint.
3. Small Contaminants
Sometimes, the smallest air contaminants can have the biggest impact on your health. Usually, these include particles that cruise in from outside, such as dust, dirt, debris from a nearby construction site, pollens, smoke, and other types of small contaminants.
Tips To Improve The Air Quality In Office
Wondering what you can do to control the discussed pollutants? We have got the answer. One of the effective ways to do so is to target the sources of these contaminants. Proper airflow and ventilation in the office can also be of help. So, here are some general tips that can help you improve the indoor air quality of the office:
1. Avoid Blocking The Vents And Let Natural Air In
Every office has air vents and windows. But, sometimes, the furniture, boxes, or other things blocks their path. It restricts the circulation of air inside the office and could result in developing some health issues amongst employees. The natural air and sunlight keep the indoor air fresh and reduce the pollutants inside. So, open the doors and windows and unblock the vents to let natural air and sunlight in.
2. Install Air Purifiers
Air purifiers that come with HEPA filters are among the best options to improve indoor air quality. These purifiers even capture small contaminants and other air pollutants. But, most of the purifiers are not efficient enough to remove gases or other chemicals from the air. For that, you can make use of activated carbon filters.
3. Replacing Air Filters From Time To Time
Whether you are using a filtration system or an air purifier, replacing the air filter from time to time is really necessary. If not paid attention to, the air filter can get clogged. The dirt, dust, and debris will accumulate behind the filter, and the airflow will get completely disrupted. This can affect the health of the employees. So, as a general rule, always keep in mind to replace the air filter every 6 to 12 months.
4. Get Indoor Office Plants
Plants are not just natural air purifiers, but they also add a calming and peaceful aesthetic look to the office surroundings. Some indoor plants are helpful in absorbing harmful toxins like benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. Also, they enhance the oxygen level inside the office too. Some of these plants are:
- Spider Pant,
- Garden Mum,
- Aloe Vera, etc.
5. Keep A Check On Furniture And Building Materials
Certain materials emit chemicals into the air for a long time. The furniture made of pressed wood and paint usually emanates chemical toxins. The excessive use of these materials in the furniture, carpeting, cabinets, and building components of the office can negatively affect the health of the employees. So, it is better to limit their use.
6. Make Office Working Areas Smoking Free
The smoke from cigarettes has toxic substances like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and many other harmful substances. Inhaling tobacco smoke is damaging to non-smokers also and can cause asthma, lung cancer, and various other health issues. So, it is better to make your office area a smoking-free zone.
7. Regular Cleansing of HVAC Air Ducts
An HVAC system maintains the hot and cold air circulation in your office. But, if you don’t check the air ducts from time to time, it can become the reason for frequent employee sick leaves. It is because, with time, the dust and dirt particles may accumulate there, dead insects and rodents may clog it, or bacteria or mold build-up there can also be possible. This can result in the spread of contaminated air in the office, causing airborne infections. So, proper sanitization and cleaning of air ducts are vital.
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