Improving indoor air quality has long been proven to benefit worker concentration and cognitive ability, but the implications extend beyond maximizing day-to-day productivity.
Poor workplace air quality has also been proven to increase the risk of many short and long term health problems, from headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue and fever to respiratory illnesses, heart disease and compromised mental health.
What Is Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the air quality within and around buildings and structures. It is a mixture of pollutants generated inside a building (from furniture and furnishings to varnishes and cleaning products) and outside a building (through things like industrial processes and traffic emissions) that migrate indoors through windows or other means of ventilation.
The most common causes of IAQ problems in buildings include:
- Ventilation: Lack of fresh outdoor air or contaminated air entering the building
- Upkeep: Poor upkeep of ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems
- Moisture: Dampness due to leaks, flooding or high humidity
- Activity: Occupant activities such as construction or remodelling
- Contamination: Indoor or outdoor contaminated air entering the building
What Can You Do?
There are several large and small improvements you can make to your workplace to improve the quality of air you and your employees breathe daily.
Conduct an Air Test
To make your IAQ improvement plan more directed and efficient, air tests check humidity levels, airflow, ventilation, mold growth, odours and water damage and provide you with key insights into your target areas for improving your workplace air quality. After you have created and implemented your IAQ improvement plan, air tests should be conducted regularly.
A clean workplace has lower levels of mold, dust, allergens and contaminants that could spread through the air. Using eco-friendly cleaning products that do not release harsh chemical compounds can help to target these problems without introducing adverse side-effects.
Change HVAC Filters
Changing your HVAC filters regularly prevents dust and other pollutants from circulating back to your indoor air, where clogged filters can interrupt air flow and increase the speed of pollutant buildup.