It’s no secret that the quality of air inside buildings can be worse than outdoors. In fact, the EPA has stated that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. This is a problem for many reasons, but especially because we spend so much time indoors. Fortunately, there are ways to improve air quality in the workplace. By taking these simple steps, you can help make your workplace a healthier place for you and your coworkers.
1. Maintain the HVAC system
Keeping your HVAC system in good condition will ensure that the air quality is high. It is recommended to have an energy professional inspect and clean your furnace annually, as well as have it serviced at least every two years. Experts also recommend having the heat exchanger of the furnace inspected yearly because this component can collect dust, leading to poor air quality. You can consult with your HVAC provider and professional pipefitters to arrange new air systems for unventilated areas of your building.
2. Clean the filter on your HVAC system
Many people don’t think to clean their air filters, but it is important to do so often. Failure to change or clean an air filter can cause dust and debris to build up, leading to poor indoor air quality. Experts recommend changing your furnace filter every month during peak times, such as during the winter months.
3. Consider using supplemental heating and cooling
There are times of the year when it is recommended to set your thermostat at a higher temperature during the day or night, mainly due to short periods of opening or closing of doors throughout the facility. This causes humidity levels to increase, which can lead to poor indoor air quality.
4. Make sure your facility is well ventilated
Make it a priority to improve ventilation during peak times, such as during the summer months or when an area of the facility has been under construction for an extended period of time. This will help increase humidity levels and ensure that you are getting fresh outdoor air inside the building.
5. Keep your facility clean and clutter-free
Take steps to ensure that your facility is well-kept and organized, as this will help increase the overall indoor air quality in your building. Make sure there is plenty of space between furniture so that nothing impedes the flow of airflow throughout the office. In addition, keep common areas clean and tidy, such as break rooms and the entryway.
6. Upgrade your systems
Consider upgrading older lighting systems with more efficient LED options. Lighting contributes to poor indoor air quality because of the potentially toxic gases such as mercury vapor and metal halide that can emit from many types of lighting devices found in offices today.
7. Minimize the number of plants in your office
It is recommended that healthy, robust plants be kept outdoors whenever possible to avoid releasing excess moisture into the air. This does not apply when plants are grown under highly controlled conditions with humidity levels carefully monitored. If you must keep plants in your office space, consider installing a misting system to help regulate indoor humidity levels.
8. Keep your facility clean and chemical-free
Many cleaning products, air fresheners, and other chemicals contribute to poor indoor air quality in the workplace. One way to improve this is to hire professional chemists who can formulate chemical-free cleansers for your company. If you opt not to take this step, make sure that your cleaning supplies are Ph-neutralized to avoid releasing chemicals into the air.
9. Make sure your employees are healthy and ready to work
Preventing illness in the workplace is one of the best ways you can improve indoor air quality. It’s important for your employees to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and make sure their immune systems are prepared to fight off germs. If you notice that an individual in your office seems to always be sick, consider encouraging them to stay home until they are better.
10. Install an air purifier
Consider installing an air purifier in your office. Many companies choose to place them near the entryway or lobby, as this is a common area where individuals congregate when they first arrive at work. An air purifier can help reduce contaminants in the indoor atmosphere and ensure that you are breathing clean air inside the building.
11. Clean carpets regularly to remove dust and other allergens
Lastly, take steps to keep your carpets clean. This includes hiring professionals who are able to deep-clean the carpeting on a regular basis, every six months or so.
Maintaining a healthy and clean work environment is essential for the productivity and well-being of your employees. By following the tips we have provided, you can take steps to improve air quality in your workplace and create a more comfortable and productive working atmosphere.