We spend up to 40 hours a week inside office buildings. The quality of the air you breathe while at work will have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. It is therefore essential that there are proper measures in place to insure that the air is well ventilated and maintained. Understanding the common sources and solutions for poor indoor air quality will help promote a healthy work environment in offices.
Sources of Office Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution in offices can come from a range of sources. Anything from building materials, cleaning products and ventilation can affect the indoor air quality. It is also important to note that door pollution can also have an impact and effect the quality of indoor spaces. This is especially if your building is located in built up, high traffic areas such as cities. Some of the most common office pollutants and their sources include:
- Dust – dust and dust mites are common inside buildings.
- Allergens – allergens such as pollen can travel indoors through open windows.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – substances that evaporate from solvents and cleaning products such as aerosols, air fresheners, carpet and furniture cleaning products.
- Asbestos – found in insulation building materials in older buildings.
- Tobacco Smoke – environmental cigarette smoke that enters through open windows and doors.
- Carbon Monoxide – mostly comes from outdoor sources such as car exhausts
- Mould & Mildew – mould and mildew grows in damp and humid conditions.
Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality can have a significant effect on a business and it’s workers. Offices with poor air quality can negative impact on the productivity and overall wellbeing of employees. This will effect employee performance levels and can impact the profits of a business. Studies have found that cognitive scores increase by 101% in buildings where there is increased ventilation and CO2 and VOC levels are lowered. Other factors such as heat and humidity will also play a crucial role in the comfort levels of an office which will impact concertation levels.
There are a variety of serious health risks involved with poor indoor air quality, especially considering how much time we spend indoors. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to lung conditions such as asthma, lung cancer and can lead to increased risk of heart disease. In addition, it is know to worsen existing respiratory conditions such as asthma.
Some symptoms of poor air quality May include:
- Shortness of breath
- Irritation of the eyes, throat, nose and skin
How to Improve Office Indoor Air Quality
Good ventilation is essential to circulate fresh air into your office space. This will prevent the build up of indoor pollutants.
Install Air Conditioning
Air conditioning systems are one of the most effective ways to maintain your indoor air quality. They filter pollutants out of the air and help dehumidify the space.
Maintain temperature and humidity
Temperature and humidity have a big impact on the comfort levels in an office. It also affects the conditionings needed for mould and mildew to grow.
Invest in Office Plants
Bringing plants into your office space will help to purify the air. Spider plants, ferns and peace lilies are great options.
Regular HVAC maintenance
In order to get the most out of your HVAC system, it is important you invest in a regular maintenance schedule. This will ensure filters are clean and the system runs at maximum efficiency.
Keep Offices Clean
Regular cleaning is essential to keep surfaces clear of allergens such as dust, pollen and pet hair. Rubbish disposal and food proper food storage is also essential. If possible, try to use toxin free products to avoid polluting the air.
Talk to the experts
At ACS Installations, we are HVAC experts. Armed with over 30 years of experience, we are dedicated to helping our customers find the right air conditioning solution. Our team of friendly engineers area available for free consultations and site surveys. Get in touch today for a free quote!
GET IN TOUCH