Four Steps to Take to Improve Your Office’s Air Quality
In the wake of COVID-19, many people are now becoming more aware of the pollutants and other potential dangers lurking in the air in their offices. This applies to both work-from-home and corporate settings, which has people wondering what concrete steps they need to take in order to maintain high air quality for both themselves and their employees.
The team at Meyer Heating & Air has plenty of experience reducing the air pollutants found in both residential and commercial work spaces in St. Louis. Before we break down how to achieve healthy air quality, let’s first delve into the causes of indoor air pollution.
Breaking Down Indoor Air Pollution
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the concentration of certain airborne pollutants is anywhere from two to five times higher in an enclosed space compared to outdoors. A big reason for that is because pollutants can often get trapped in an indoor space and there is a lack of adequate circulation. This is especially problematic for corporate offices, which aren’t really in a habit of opening their doors and windows to allow outdoor air to circulate through the building.
The result is that over time an unhealthy amount of pollutants can accumulate in a building, ranging from mold to volatile organic compounds, which can lead to numerous health issues among employees. There is also the issue of pathogens, bacteria, and viruses (such as COVID-19), which not only adhere to surfaces, but can also circulate in the building through the air and via the HVAC system.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways in which to improve indoor air quality in both home and corporate office settings.
One of the best ways to improve overall air quality is through good design. Specifically, that means having a good ventilation system set up in your building. Older buildings will sometimes have a stale quality about them, which is a telltale sign of poor ventilation that needs to be updated. Ideally, the system promotes fresh air coming in while pushing air (that may be contaminated with pollutants) out.
At Meyer Heating & Air, we can typically improve the ventilation in a building by adding new HVAC technology, moving air ducts, or changing and/or relocating intakes.
A good filtration system is going to do the majority of the heavy lifting when it comes to catching the dirt, debris, and other pollutants in the air. Think of filters as your first line of defense. They’re not going to catch everything, but they are essential to keeping those large particles of dust, pollen, and smoke out of the air, and therefore, out of your lungs.
Going beyond standard filters improves your overall air quality even further. One of the most popular and effective items on the market currently is what’s known as a HEPA filter. This particular filter has been lab-tested and proven to trap 99.97% of airborne pollutants. The only downside is that HEPA filters restrict airflow, which means that many HVAC systems have to be updated in order to accommodate them. These filters are well worth the investment though.
UVC lights emit ultraviolet radiation, which have been proven to be an effective method in killing contaminants and microbes. In the wake of COVID-19, many institutions – such as hospitals – have been relying on UVC lights in order to keep their buildings free of potentially harmful airborne pollutants and viruses. UVC technology can be installed in numerous ways. One of the most common methods is by incorporating it into the ducts and upper-air systems and/or the cooling coil.
Oxidation and Ionization
Within the last decade, the popularity of air purifiers has ramped up and become more convenient and affordable. These come in small portable models that can be placed in any home, but there are also industrial-sized models intended to take care of entire buildings. The benefit of these devices is that they destroy harmful air particles (bacteria, mold, viruses, etc.), which has made them a popular technology in the wake of COVID-19. These devices can also mitigate foul or unpleasant odors.
Contact Meyer Heating & Air to Reduce Your Office’s Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution can be the cause of many health issues among employees, but it is preventable if you take the proper precautions and apply modern technologies to your HVAC system. The team at Meyer Heating & Air has years of experience in upgrading residences and corporate offices with the latest in HVAC systems in the St. Louis area. We can do anything from a simple filter replacement to a commercial grade A/C and heating installation.
We are ready to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.