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indoor air quality culprits greater comfort commercial HVAC

Commercial HVAC: Fight Common Indoor Air Quality Culprits

Skin irritation, asthma, cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, a weakened immune system, fatigue, cancer…Did you know that these are a few of the negative side effects that can result because of poor indoor air quality?

You may know this, but your tenants may not realize it. Either way, you have a responsibility to proactively make sure your buildings’ indoor air quality is what it should be. Keep reading for major IAQ culprits—and what you can do to combat or minimize each.

Culprit: Not enough natural ventilation

As many facility managers know, outdoor air isn’t always the enemy. Yes, you want to be sure you have the right amount of outdoor air coming into your building—since too much outdoor air wreak havoc, too—but the optimal amount of outdoor air can promote good indoor air quality.

Air can naturally enter your office in a number of ways. We’re here to help you make sure your natural ventilation is set up in a way that encourages that. This can include any openings that exist in the building infrastructure, windows, doors, to name several.

Culprit: Lack of mechanical ventilation

As described, there is going to be natural ventilation in your facility. That’s and important step to take, but it’s often not enough. There’s also a need for you to design (or optimize the current design of) your building to increase the outdoor air ventilation rate.

We can work with you to design and implement mechanical systems that bring outdoor air into your building—but just the right amount so it doesn’t negatively impact your indoor air quality. Some of these include energy-efficient heat recovery ventilators to get the job done the right way.

Culprit: Allergens you don’t even know about

Particulate pollutants are solid or liquid particles that are light enough to become evaporated or they are “suspended” in your building’s air. These can be so small you won’t even know they exist. These can include dust, dirt, mold spores, pet dander—the list goes on. These allergy-inducing particles are in your building and can be hard to detect because many, if not most, are even odorless.

Despite being hard to detect in many cases, these particles and pollutants can cause asthma flare-ups, allergies in people who don’t normally have them, fatigue, sleepiness, skin issues, digestive issues, and more.

Besides regularly changing your air filters, in some cases, it may make sense to install a high efficiency air filter to combat indoor contaminants. Luckily, there are plenty of choices on the market. In addition to acquiring an excellent air filter, don’t forget to regularly change it (they don’t last forever!) 

Frequent maintenance to your HVAC system is also key in doing what you can to minimize and get rid of these pollutants. Making sure that your system is working as efficiently as possible will not only help with your air quality, but also help with your energy bill costs (bonus!) HVAC professionals have a better eye for nipping problems in the bud before they occur, so don’t neglect your maintenance checks.

Culprit: Cleaning products

It can be shocking to hear, but many popular cleaning agents and furnishings have compounds that are negative for us to breathe and therefore negatively impact the indoor air quality.

Besides the solutions we’ve already described, if you haven’t already installed an air purifier in your building, it may be time. This can combine an HEPA air filter, activated carbon, and pre-filter to collect and catch these kinds of chemical pollutants as well as mold, pollen, and dander. 

Culprit: Exposure to tobacco smoke particles

One of the most common indoor pollutants is tobacco smoke, which is widely considered one of the worst indoor air pollutants that exists. It has poisons that include formaldehyde and carbon dioxide, among more than 50 other chemicals it introduces to the air.

It’s a good idea to prohibit smoking inside the building and also to confine the designated smoking area to a place outdoors far away from the building’s door, if you are able and if you decide that’s the best route to go for your IAQ. If you get rid of the source of the pollutant (chemicals in the air from tobacco), you can really transform your indoor air quality!

Culprit: Lack of control of your facility’s humidity levels

in our region, there can be a great deal of humidity in the air, and that actually impacts the quality of the air, too.

Your building’s HVAC system should be custom built to manage that kind of humidity. If not, an energy audit can help determine how moisture control is happening in your space. There could be changes that tenants can make (or things they can stop doing) and an energy audit can help determine what your next steps should be to minimize the extra moisture.

Culprit: your facility’s air ducts are dirty

Dirt and dust are going to prohibit air flow, and that means your HVAC’s performance can suffer.

Realize that fine dust collects on air duct surfaces, vents, motors, and coils and that’s why your system needs regular and professional cleanings. Air filters are the first line of defense, in many ways, but you also want to be sure your ducts are cleaned.

Call Greater Comfort for Your Commercial HVAC Projects

You’re not alone in the fight for cleaner, purer, and altogether healthier air—we’re here to help you inspect and improve the air quality in your office.

With options like top-of-the-line air filters, humidity control systems, UV germicidal lights, we have the tools (and knowledge) to make your building’s air fresh and clean.

If you are ready to take action and discuss your heating and cooling needs, now is the time to call! Contact the experts at Greater Comfort today to ensure that your air quality is as clean as possible: call 859-491-4915 now.

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