Air quality is a health concern that often goes unnoticed. For business owners, designated office space often involves congested areas and shared ventilation units. For many reasons, the air at your business may be harmful for your well-being and that of your employees. Evaluating the indoor air quality of your business can help you identify and solve problems that impact health and productivity.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality includes the temperature, humidity, ventilation, and chemicals inside your business. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have official standards for air quality, but it does provide guidelines that address notable air concerns. When the air quality is clean, people are comfortable, healthy, and productive. Poor air quality, however, causes a variety of symptoms and health problems.
Symptoms of a Problem
Poor indoor air quality might cause symptoms similar to those of a cold. Employees might get headaches or report their allergies are more severe when they are at work. Some may complain that the building feels hot and stuffy or experience frequent fatigue. Watery, itchy eyes, a cough, skin irritation, or respiratory problems that get worse in the workplace indicate exposure to something unhealthful.
When people don’t feel well, they can’t do their best. Some pollutants in the environment, such as radon, asbestos, and carbon monoxide, can cause serious health issues, including cancer. Not all pollutants cause symptoms, so it’s important to be proactive.
Check your building for possible contaminants. Most businesses keep their environments sealed to reduce heating and cooling costs, but fresh air can flush the environment of unwanted materials. Is there adequate ventilation in your building? Keep the following in mind:
- Be aware of odors. If a room smells musty or you notice chemical odors, find the source and remove it.
- Wet windows and walls indicate moisture. Mold and mildew growth mean surfaces are staying damp.
- Be aware of the chemicals used for cleaning, remodeling, and pest control; all of these can pollute the air at your business.
Even minor irritations, such as respiratory problems from cleaning product fumes or an allergic reaction to dust and mold, decrease job satisfaction and cause employees to feel unwell.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
Make sure your building has properly installed carbon monoxide and radon detectors. Remediate any areas with asbestos. Use kitchen and bathroom fans to increase ventilation. Open windows to let in air from outside. Use fans to remove dust from the air when painting or remodeling.
One of the simplest ways to improve indoor air quality is to change your air filters on a regular schedule (every three months is recommended). A clean filter will improve indoor air quality by removing dust, allergens, and contaminants from your system. It also makes your heating and air conditioning systems run more efficiently and last longer.
The EPA examines indoor air quality by building type and suggests more ways air quality can be evaluated and improved. Casto Tech has been working with business owners for the past 50 years to guarantee that their indoor air quality is up to par and can quickly and efficiently pinpoint and fix air quality issues. Don’t jeopardize your air any longer – contact us today for a free estimate.