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Commercial HVAC Spotlight: Your Building’s Indoor Air Quality

Particles in the air and pollution tend to make allergies worse!

Inside your building, air quality can actually worsen the health of building occupants, especially those who suffer from asthma or allergies.

Since May is Asthma month—as it is one of the most problematic months of the year for allergies and asthma—we’re breaking down 3 major things you can do to boost your building’s air quality (also called IAQ for indoor air quality).

Make sure occupants are helping you to remove the source of irritants

Many facility managers know some of the biggest threats to indoor air quality like allergens, bacteria, dust, dander, mold, and germs.

Some of the others include chemicals used to clean the facility or building, humidity issues, ozone sources in the building, and even odors. Stale air is another factor that can contribute or lead to indoor air quality issues.

Here are just a few ways you can encourage building occupants to help you in the quest to fight allergies and asthma:

  • Make sure they don’t open windows and keep doors shut whenever possible. Pollen and other allergens have a way of sneaking in through open windows and doors. When left unchecked for hours, this can be hugely problematic for indoor air quality.
  • Watch the “bring the dog to the office” days. It can be hard for people to hear, but if you need to, cut back on the pets in the office. Unless you’re able to ensure they aren’t bringing in dust and dirt, it can be a major contributor to peoples’ problems.
  • Make sure people are turning on—or keeping on—your system’s filtration system. We’ve seen cases where workers unknowingly turned of filtration systems; when a purification or filtration system is turned off, you can really be doing yourself a disservice in combating sources of allergens.

Keep up with your HVAC and other building maintenance

What’s interesting about indoor air quality is that there are so many short-term ways to make it worse, but the long-term ways really add up, too.

For example, if you haven’t had your coils cleaned consistently over time, not only are you wasting money but you can be negatively impacting your system’s ability to fight off mold and mildew growth. Obviously, those are major issues you want to avoid, and coil cleaning is a major way to do just that.

Another major source of problems for many facilities is cooling towers. Cooling towers will cool water in your AC systems, but at the same time, they can be a breeding ground for bacteria. If that cooling tower is dirty enough, bacteria thrive and will only continue to grow and infect the facility though your ventilation. Unfortunately, this can happen all too often.

Stick with our recommendations for your filter selection and replacement

By now you know the importance of air filters and regularly changing out your air filters. It’s one of the easiest, yet most effective ways to improve and maintain indoor air quality. There are two common mistakes we see with air filter replacement.

First, sometimes facilities aren’t replacing them as frequently as they should. If your facility has internal and external factors that can worsen air quality or increase the likelihood of irritants in the air, you may need to change out your air filters more frequently than you thought. Ask us for guidelines that are reasonable based on your system and facility.

Second, we’ve seen some cases where people aren’t using the right air filter for their system. In doing so, you can be using an inefficient filtration—which, in turn, can cost you more (a less efficient system) and it will also do less to improve your air quality. We can help you ensure you’re using a correct air filter based on your manufacturer, sustainability objectives, your facility, and its MERV rating.

These are such powerful tools in helping building occupants stay healthy, and we want to help you choose an air filter that will perform as its intended to do.

Choose Greater Comfort for Your Commercial HVAC Needs

All in all, for good reason, facility managers do face pressure when it comes to watching IAQ. For all your indoor air quality needs and for commercial HVAC maintenance, upgrade, install, and service, contact Greater Comfort through our website or call Greater Comfort at 859-491-4915.

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