Air pollution remains a critical concern for millions, and according to The Guardian, a recent review of air quality in buildings and its impact on health revealed significant correlations between deteriorating quality and poor mental health. In fact, the adverse effects of poor air quality are associated with an increase in indoor air pollution. Unfortunately, Facilities Managers tend to associate air pollution with traffic, vehicles, and outdoor air contaminants. Meanwhile, indoor air quality can be more harmful than the air outdoors. Managers need to understand the role of indoor air quality and the value of high air quality in commercial buildings and their use.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?
That is a loaded question. Contaminants affect indoor air quality more than outdoors because people are confined to the space. Dust from shedding skin cells, mites, dirt, and other debris may become aerosolized during periods of high use. Also, low humidity within the indoor environment may lead to the exacerbation of breathing problems for occupants, explains WebMD, and of course, debris and contaminants within the HVAC system itself can transform your building’s ventilation system into a harbinger of poor respiratory function.
High Air Quality in Commercial Buildings Benefits All Occupants
Better or high air quality in a commercial building presents significant benefits for all occupants, including staff, facility management team members, customer-facing employees, and customers. Depending on the purpose of your facility, such as a restaurant or school, the effects of air quality of experience increases. In schools, the negative aspects of poor air quality give way through improved systems to better cognitive performance, increasing grades, and the building’s purpose. Meanwhile, restaurants with high indoor air quality avoid risks, such as the spread of pathogens, and since we all eat with our noses too, better indoor air quality will naturally bring those out for a bite inside. In health facilities, improved air quality limits the spread of serious illnesses, a critical concern for patients with existing respiratory problems.
How to Achieve Better Air Quality in Your Facilities
Optimal indoor air quality affects the health, productivity, and comfort of guests. No one wants to spend time in a dank, dusty, or allergen-filled room. Unfortunately, even buildings with an excellent ventilation system may suffer from poor air quality. According to Buildings.com, Facilities Managers should follow these steps to improve indoor air quality:
- Implement a proactive facility HVAC maintenance program to reduce the spread of debris in the air. For instance, clean old carpet regularly and change HVAC system filters based on use and debris in the air.
- Install connected sensors that monitor air quality, checking for the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as the presence of harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide. Upon activation, these sensors can trigger the HVAC system to bring new air into the building or even process indoor air with purifying systems.
- Increase awareness of indoor air quality and its concerns. Facilities Managers should consider the state of incoming air quality, such as Ozone Alert Days and environmental conditions, and its impact on the HVAC system. Ongoing adjustments to the HVAC system can help mitigate these risks and ensure optimum indoor air quality.
Take a Breath of Fresh Air With Better Indoor Air Quality Systems
Advancement permeates facility management, and while Facility Managers can deploy data to understand their assets, it is easy to overlook an invisible threat. The air quality might look beautiful, but it could be home to millions of pathogens and aerosolized particles that influence occupant health, productivity, and mental state. Ensure the best experience possible for your building occupants by using the latest technologies to track and manage your HVAC system. Find out how else to achieve high air quality in commercial buildings by visiting ENTOUCH online or calling 1-800-820-3511 today.