Did you know that health issues due to poor air quality in offices are so common that it’s categorized as a syndrome, known as sick building syndrome?
Poor ventilation and build-up of contaminants inside your workplace can lead to SBS, which makes you dizzy, nauseous, gives ENT irritation, and even chronic diseases.
So if you’re looking to improve the air quality inside your office, we’ve listed some tips below that may help. Read on!
Why Offices May Have Poor Air Quality?
You may think you’re safe from the smog and pollution present outside when you’re indoors. Think again. Is the indoor air good enough?
Air quality inside offices can be especially poor due to several reasons, such as:
- Poor ventilation
- Particles released from printer toners
- Poor maintenance of carpets and upholstery
- High humidity
- Unattended spills and leaks
- Cigarette smoking
These are just a few to mention. The building’s material, its location, and lots of other stuff come into play as well.
If you notice yourself or other employees suffering from allergy-like symptoms, or dizziness and nausea while inside the office, it’s time to take action.
You should either call in professionals to check the air quality or buy testing kits yourself. The latter takes longer when it comes to getting results, but is a cheaper option.
7 Ways to Improve Air Quality at Your Workplace
When air quality inside workplaces isn’t good, employees get sick more than often. This also affects their productivity and causes loss in the long run.
Luckily, improving and maintaining the air quality inside the office isn’t too difficult. Here are seven ways you can do so:
Most offices are sealed shut from the air outside. While this could help prevent smoke and other pollutants from entering the building, it can also prove to be counterproductive.
If you don’t open windows, contaminants from stuff like air fresheners, cleaning solutions, and cigarettes will not have a way to escape outside. This leads to build-up, and eventually, sickness in employees.
Try opening windows in your office to let in some fresh air. This will enable cross-ventilation and help those pollutants drift outside.
2. Vents and HVAC
Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure your ventilating system is in check. Take a look around and see if any furniture or equipment is blocking a vent. If so, remove the blockage to enable air circulation.
Also, ensure that the filters in your HVAC are up to the task. They can clog up pretty quickly, so make sure you replace them regularly.
3. Indoor Plants
One way to breathe cleaner air is to get a bunch of indoor office plants. They will release oxygen during the daytime and absorb any carbon dioxide that’s accumulating in the air.
Place them on your desk, your window, in corner pots, or hang them up – it’s up to you. Either way, you’ll be breathing in much healthier air with lots of oxygen to keep you going.
Unlike your home, your office isn’t vacuumed, mopped, and wiped clean as often. However, you need to ensure that the maintenance department is doing its part well.
Get your office vacuumed regularly to get rid of any dust, dust mites, and other allergens. Also, if someone has spilled water, coffee, or food items, it should be cleaned up as soon as possible. This will prevent mold growth and keep away insects, which could also cause allergies.
When indoor humidity is above 50%, things can get out of control. Mold spores can start growing on surfaces and ruin furniture, carpets, and much more. They also cause allergies in people and trigger asthma attacks.
Hence, if your office has leaky pipes or high humidity in general, bring in a dehumidifier and fix any source of leakage.
Air conditioning also helps dehumidify areas, but if there’s water leakage, make sure there’s a dehumidifier at work.
6. Aerosol Sprays
The use of aerosol sprays in offices is very common. Disinfectants, air fresheners, deodorants – the list goes on. They release toxins into the air that can cause fatal diseases and conditions over time.
Try limiting their use in your office. If it’s necessary, make sure you run an air sanitizing device (discussed below) afterward to get rid of any harmful chemicals.
7. Air Sanitizing Devices
One of the most effective ways to clean indoor air is to use an air sanitization device. A HEPA air scrubber works well for commercial buildings like offices. This is because it covers a large area at a time, and its filter can trap very small particles such as chemical gases and other toxins.
Plus, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set HEPA filters as the standard for air filtration systems in homes and offices. Hence, an air purifier or air scrubber is an excellent solution for improving indoor air quality.
You should never overlook poor air quality because of the dire health consequences you might have to face later on.
So if more than one employee in your office feels sick as soon as they arrive, chances are, the office has polluted air.
Try calling in professionals so they can assess the situation. After that, you can use the tips we listed to maintain high air quality. For best results, we recommend using two or more of these methods in conjunction with each other.