Whether in an office, law firm, school, or healthcare facility, it’s important to improve the quality of air that your employees, guests, and clients breathe in. Given the prevalence of airborne pollutants, the poor air quality in many workplaces is not a surprise. Dirt, dust, and other waste rapidly build up in crowded areas.
There is even a syndrome for it — sick building syndrome (SBB). It is a result of poor workplace air quality, which affects workers whenever they’re in the building. Symptoms including headaches, respiratory issues, coughing, and fevers may be caused by poor indoor air quality, particularly if these conditions only appear at work and disappear by the time employees arrive back home.
What Is Indoor Air Quality?
Before you try to improve the indoor quality in your workplace, you first need to know what air quality is.
When the air is healthy and clean, it carries only a very few solid particles and chemical pollutants. On the other hand, poor air quality will hold high levels of pollutants that can be dangerous to the health of your employees and the environment. Extremely high quantities of pollutants in the air also make it difficult to see and may be hazardous.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) measures the amount of pollution in the air in a certain area and uses that data to characterize the quality of the air.
Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality
On average, Americans spend around 90% of their time inside, where the quantities of certain pollutants may be two to five times greater than typical outdoor environments.
Such high exposure to poor indoor air quality can lead to various short-term and long-term health issues that aren’t to be taken lightly.
For example, some of the temporary symptoms that usually pass once you get away from the source of the allergens are itchy eyes, a runny nose, frequent headaches, and irritated throat. In rare cases, you could also experience dizziness, nausea, and vomiting — all depending on the level of exposure and your body’s reaction to pollutants.
Some of the long-term consequences are far more serious. Bad air quality and prolonged exposure can lead to chronic respiratory problems, asthma flare-ups, heart failure, as well as cancer.
Improve the quality of your workspace for you and your colleagues by following these simple steps.
Aim for Proper Ventilation
A long-term lease on a building may make this difficult, but if you’re looking for a new business facility, look closely at the ventilation features and how effective they are.
However, even if you’re leasing, you still have options such as keeping windows open as much as you can and adding fans to your space to keep the air flowing. Introducing outside air regularly is the most vital prerequisite for having fresh and clean air in your offices.
Add Plants to Your Space
This one is not a big secret — we all know that plants create oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide via a process called photosynthesis. Indoor plants also increase humidity to a healthier level by droplets of water that vapor through leaves, specifically their pores. What you maybe didn’t know is that plants also absorb a lot of pollutants from the air around you.
Greenery also has a very calming and grounding effect on our psyche. It helps us relax, unwind, and get our eyes rested from displays and notifications.
Larger palms and ferns (which blossom inside) are the greatest alternatives for removing airborne pollutants.
Plants will not only keep your team and your company facility safer, but they will also be a great aesthetic improvement as well.
Utilize a Cleaning Company
When you think of air, you rarely think of all that nasty stuff that is going on in your company’s carpets and on the floors. But the truth is that air quality is largely composed of everything that is around you, including the dust that’s been swept and turned around by walking around the facility’s floor. All that dirt can easily end up in your body if you don’t keep your workspace spotless and clean.
The safest and easiest way to do that is by partnering up with professional cleaners. They will clean regularly and perform tasks such as vacuuming carpets, dusting, and cleaning surfaces. It will greatly limit the amount of allergens that are found in your workplace. If your office has carpets, make sure to get professional cleaners to clean it at least once or twice a week.
Staying on top of air filters and HCAV systems is important, too. A commercial cleaning company can do this for you so you don’t have to think about it.
Taking on tasks like this in-house can take crucial time away from employees and lower their morale. Instead, hire a professional cleaning company to take care of all cleaning tasks for you.
Use Air Cleaners and Purifiers
Air cleaners and purifiers are great solutions to capture many of the nasty irritants that can trigger allergic reactions or induce asthma attacks in those who have the condition.
The efficiency of an air cleaner is determined by how successfully it gathers contaminants from indoor air and how much air it pulls through the cleaning or filtering device (reported as a percentage efficiency rate, expressed in cubic feet per minute). It means that even if the collector is very efficient, it won’t be effective if it doesn’t have a fast enough circulation rate, and vice versa.
Air cleaners and purification systems are delicate, so be very careful when handling them. If you follow the instructions, they should last your business a long time.
Improving Indoor Air Quality
Maintaining healthy indoor air requires dedication and regular care. The most obvious solution is usually the most effective as well — keep the windows open and clean the workspace regularly and properly. Keep in mind that dust build-up is your employees’ biggest enemy.
Enrich offices with plants. Employees will love it. Not only will it reduce stress among the team, but it is also nature’s free air filtration system. When it seems it’s not enough, you can always purchase air purifiers, which will catch the majority of hidden airborne irritants.
It’s important to keep your air clean and healthy for both you and your employees. To ensure your facility is getting all the support it needs, consider partnering with a commercial cleaning company. They can help you minimize air pathogens, while also keeping your offices clean and neat.
If you’re looking to enlist the help of a cleaning partner to improve your indoor air quality, do all the necessary research to ensure that the cleaning company you partner up with offers exactly what your business needs.