Improving Air Quality at Work

The air you breathe in the workplace can affect the productivity, comfort, and health of whomever is in the building. Although there is more information that needs to be collected in order to get a clear picture on the health concerns people have with air quality, it’s important to take steps to improve the overall air quality and maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

Why Be Concerned About Poor Air Quality?

Image via Flickr by Ari Bronstein

If the air you breathe in the workplace is full of dust, chemicals, odors, or mold, the air quality will be poor and can make employees uncomfortable. Complaints associated with unhealthy air can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, or fatigue. Some flu-like reactions such as sneezing could be caused by allergies secondary to dust mites or mold in the air.

Benefits of Improved Air Quality

Improving the air quality in the workplace is important since most people spend much of their day indoors. Contamination in the air we breathe can increase the risk of health concerns. A well-maintained HVAC system will keep temperatures consistent and should reduce humidity. Air movement should be logical and avoid inflow in areas that could add contaminants. By having good air quality in the workplace, you can help improve productivity and minimize employee sick days.

How to Improve Air Quality

Improving air quality is not as clear cut as it seems, but even if employees are not obviously afflicted with ailments from poor air quality, the long-term benefits of taking care of the air you breathe are important. Here are some tips to improve air quality in the workplace:

  1. Communicate between employees and employers to express concerns about symptoms seen only at work.
  2. Control known pollutants that can travel in the air by removing or blocking them. Pollutants come from outdoor and indoor sources and include particles, biological, and chemical types. Biological pollutants can include mold, dust mites, and bacteria, while chemical ones include smoke, cleaning products, emissions, and gases.
  3. Restrict smoking near the building and in areas where second-hand smoke can travel indoors.
  4. Replace any carpet or tile that has sustained water damage.
  5. Whenever possible, use harsh or volatile chemicals when the building is empty.
  6. Ensure proper ventilation to dilute and remove pollutants. Direct any fumes from the use of pesticides and paints outdoors if possible.
  7. Use filters appropriately. Replacing and cleaning filters regularly will help your HVAC system emit cleaner air.
  8. Use professionals to maintain your HVAC system. They are invaluable to provide guidance in the process of improving the air quality in the workplace. Keeping all of your HVAC system regularly maintained will prevent poor ventilation, contaminants, and uneven temperatures and humidity from occurring. 

Improving air quality at work is not an easy task as many steps need to be considered. Better air will allow for a more comfortable workplace and happier employees and co-workers. By taking simple steps like keeping your HVAC system clean and maintained, you can greatly improve the air quality in the workplace.

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