Often overlooked, indoor air quality (IAQ) in the workplace is the subject of much attention these days (and for good reason). Anytime a business starts to notice an overall problem with productivity at the office, they may want to take some time to find out what’s really causing the trouble. The air. And with allergies in full swing, these signs are amplified. When companies make efforts to improve air quality, they see an improvement in health, comfort and productivity of building occupants.
Good Indoor Air Quality
The most common complaint about indoor air quality is related to temperature: the air is either too hot or too cold. The second most common complaint is about air circulation: the air is either too drafty or too stagnant. Other common comfort-related complaints involve humidity: the air is too dry or too muggy. So, what does it really mean to have good IAQ? According to the American Industrial Hygiene Association:
- Ventilation is in accordance with the current guidelines established in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62.1, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.
- Comfort factors (i.e., temperature, humidity, air movement) in a range that is acceptable to most occupants, such as published in ASHRAE Standard 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy.
- Mechanical equipment and building surfaces are maintained in sanitary condition.
- Significant emission sources, such as large copy machines, are separated from occupied spaces and air intakes.
- Major sources of chemical or biological contamination are promptly identified and controlled.
- Occupied areas are regularly cleaned and good housekeeping practices are in place.
- Operations, maintenance, and construction activities are performed in a manner that minimizes occupant exposure to airborne contaminants.
Improve Air Quality- Improve Allergies
Dust buildup can make breathing miserable for anyone who spends much time inside their home. Typical indoor allergens include dust mites pollen, chemicals, pet dander, and mold spores which can also play dirty by causing sneezing, coughing and even more severe allergy problems. When exposed to these allergens, 10% (or more) of the population may exhibit symptoms; but the good news is that controlling the air quality can help to reduce the severity.
How Can a HVAC Improve Air Quality?
Your HVAC system can affect the air quality inside your business and modifying the ventilation system may be an effective method of resolving IAQ complaints. If your system has mold buildup or an air filter that’s covered in dust, these irritants can make their way throughout the office and trigger allergic reactions. Changing the HVAC system’s air filter and having regular maintenance performed will help cut down on the presence of allergic reactions. The HVAC system must not only control contaminants, it must also provide a comfortable environment for occupants.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).