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Indoor Air Quality Concerns at Work

In recent years, indoor air quality has become a hot topic, and the workplace is often the focus of concerns about poor indoor air quality. It makes a lot of sense. Full-time jobs mean that we spend more time at work each week than we do with our families. With so many hours spent at the office, indoor air quality in office buildings is not only crucial for the workers' comfort but also for their health and wellbeing. According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, good indoor air quality includes comfortable humidity and temperature, an adequate supply of fresh air, and efficient control of pollutants both from outside and inside the building.

Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

Where does indoor air pollution come from? There are several common sources and factors that affect indoor air:

  • Occupant activities
  • VOC outgassing from furnishings
  • Microbial contamination
  • Pesticide application
  • Janitorial and Maintenance
  • Environmental tobacco smoke

How office indoor air quality affects employee health

Poor indoor air quality can affect a worker's health in many ways. Numerous studies have shown that there is a direct link between the quality of air at the workplace and productivity. Impurities in the air can lower employee productivity and consequently hamper economic growth. Workers are also more likely to miss more days of work due to illness caused by poor indoor air quality. Since productivity at work depends on the workers being present and working efficiently, any way that an employer can help their employees stay healthier is helpful.

Health effects that may be caused by indoor air pollution include:

  • Asthma
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Sneezing
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Irritability and much more.

 

How to check air quality in the workplace

Under the OSH Act of 1970, all workers have the right to clean, fresh air at work. This begs the question - how can you best monitor indoor air quality?

Use an air quality monitor

One of the best ways to check air quality at the workplace is by using an air quality monitor. This device usually checks PM2 levels (allergens and tiny dusts particles), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like chemicals, humidity and temperature.

Evaluate workers health symptoms

Another way to track air quality at the workplace is by evaluating symptoms that workers are exhibiting. If many workers are suffering from respiratory-related illnesses such as sneezing, asthma allergy, watery eyes, scratchy throat and much more, then that is a clear sign that the office air quality standards should be looked into. Hopefully, if any workers have concerns about indoor air quality at work, they will come directly to their supervisor or to management to voice their concerns.

Check for the presence of mold

A common workplace pollutant that the air quality monitor probably can't detect is the presence of mold. Mold usually remains undetected until it spreads to almost all corners of the office. If you suspect mold growth, call an expert to inspect the office for signs of mold. Mold testing is also a good way to get a definitive answer. If the test comes out positive, then that there is a clear indication that the indoor air quality at the office is compromised.

Use carbon monoxide alarms

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. It has been called the silent killer. The best way to find out that there is a high level before it is too late is by installing carbon monoxide alarms. The alarm will go off if it detects a high occurrence of carbon monoxide in the office.

Check out the ventilation system

The HVAC system is what makes sure that air circulates through the office. Therefore, the general state of the ventilation system will determine the overall quality of air in the office and other commercial buildings. For instance, if the air conditioner is not functioning properly as it should, usually due to clogged filters or air ducts, then the office will have poor air quality. Unlike at home, the office is a public area, and proper air circulation is critical. Even a slight obstruction in air circulation can compromise the quality of air in the office. If the ventilation is not in good shape, then it is essential to call an expert to come and fix the problem as soon as possible. HVAC experts have the sources and skills needed to correct the problem. Periodic air duct cleaning is a great way to maintain good air flow in the office.

Check the current state of the carpet

Carpets act as filters for the air, so a dirty carpet can contain a lot of contaminants that may compromise office air quality. So, if the office has carpets that have not been cleaned in a while, then the chance of workers suffering from related respiratory diseases increases. Dirty carpets are not only full of dirt and allergens, but they contain dangerous chemicals that can significantly affect the health and well being of employees. Since the office is a public area, carpets at the workplace need to be cleaned regularly by a cleaning professional to keep them clean and neat all the time.

 

Improve indoor air quality in commercial buildings with Dustless Duct

Commercial air duct cleaning takes care of one potential source of indoor air pollution. As an employer, you need a professional team that can take care of your air duct cleaning without slowing down your business. Look no further than Dustless Duct. We know the cost of having poor indoor air quality, and we are here to help. We provide state of the art air duct, HVAC, and carpet cleaning services. We are a reputable and experienced cleaning company with an impeccable track record. We promise to deliver quality commercial duct cleaning services that will exceed your expectations. Don't wait, give us a call today.

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duct cleaning offer
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indoor air pollution
commercial ductwork