Are your employees not as productive as you would like? Do they complain about allergies? The problem may be in the air – not the air inside your facilities, but outside. Many people do not realize that indoor comfort can be adversely affected by the often not-so-great outdoors. For instance, living by the river can trigger airborne allergens like cottonwood or juniper. Outdoor pollutants like carbon dioxide, along with airborne dust and debris, represent another source of bad indoor air quality, especially for businesses located in commercial or industrial districts. Of course, moving your company’s entire operation is rarely a practical solution. Nonetheless, there are remedies for poor air quality caused by external sources.
Poor Ventilation and Poor Maintenance
Poor ventilation is a leading cause of “sick building syndrome.” If a large proportion of your employees complain about sinus congestion, scratchy throats, headaches, and other flu-like symptoms when they are at work, it may be time to check your HVAC system. Poorly maintained equipment that fails to filter out external pollutants or airborne particles and debris may very well be the culprit, especially in buildings where the windows cannot be opened.
Spatial and Furniture Planning
Another possible source for poor indoor air quality may be the configuration of your company’s offices and other indoor spaces. The location of furniture and equipment can have a huge effect on air circulation. For instance, placing heat generating equipment – including computers – directly under a temperature control device could result in too much cool air being pumped through the space, even in the dead of winter. Blocking air supply or exhaust registers with furniture or partitions is also a no-no.
Of course, moving your entire company’s operations is usually not a practical solution. Some indoor air quality issues can be solved through relatively simple DIY fixes – such as moving furniture and equipment away from vents or thermostats. In buildings where windows can be opened, allowing employees to do so when weather conditions (and outdoor air quality) permit represents a cost-free source of fresh air. Choosing furnishings and wall coverings (including paint) that do not emit formaldehyde and other indoor pollutants can result in a considerable improvement in indoor air quality.
Professional Maintenance from Aztec Mechanical
Preventative maintenance and timely repairs of your company’s HVAC equipment is essential – and should be left to professionals. If your company does not have a dedicated HVAC maintenance staff, Aztec Mechanical can help. We can make an assessment to determine the source of indoor air quality problems, and make any needed repairs or replacements.