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How to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Commercial Spaces

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Indoor Air Quality Houston
  • Nestor Vazquez
  • Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is essential for the health, comfort, and productivity of people working in commercial spaces like offices, hotels, schools, retail stores etc. Poor IAQ can lead to sick building syndrome symptoms, allergies, asthma and even long term diseases. But improving IAQ is easier than it sounds.

In this post, we will discuss why good indoor air quality is needed and simple steps commercial facility managers can take to enhance IAQ.

Importance of Good Indoor Air Quality

As per Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. We spend 90% of our time indoors, so exposure to indoor pollutants can be quite high. Some key reasons why good IAQ is crucial are:

  • Improved health: Good IAQ reduces allergy, asthma and sick building syndrome issues by limiting exposure to pollutants. It also boosts immunity and reduces risks of respiratory infections.
  • Increased productivity: Enhanced IAQ keeps employees more comfortable and focused leading to higher productivity. Studies show improved IAQ can increase productivity by 6-9%.
  • Better reputation with occupants: Maintaining better IAQ improves satisfaction levels of people occupying the commercial space and helps attract tenants.

7 Strategies to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Here are 7 easy and effective ways commercial facility managers can adopt to improve indoor air quality:

1.      Monitor CO2 levels

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an indicator of indoor ventilation efficiency. CO2 levels higher than 1000 parts per million (ppm) indicate a lack of adequate air exchange. Installing CO2 monitors and maintaining indoor CO2 levels below 800 ppm ensures good ventilation with intake of fresh outdoor air. This dilutes other indoor pollutants, providing better indoor air quality.

2.      Control indoor pollutants

Common indoor air pollutants include mold, dust mites, smoke, and chemicals from cleaning products, furniture and building materials. Using green cleaning products that are free from harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) helps reduce chemical exposure. Fixing water leaks quickly controls moisture and mold growth. Proper ventilation and air circulation also effectively reduces buildup of indoor pollutants.

3.      Increase ventilation

One effective way to dilute indoor air pollutants is to increase ventilation and enhance air exchange between indoors and outdoors. Opening windows regularly allows more intake of fresh air. Dedicated outdoor air handling systems and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) that bring in filtered fresh air also improve indoor air quality.

4.      Adopt air filters

High quality pleated air filters for HVAC systems help filter out respirable particles like dust and mold spores. They also trap other pollutant particles and prevent reintroduction into the indoor air after initial ventilation. Replacing used air filters regularly is crucial for maintaining good filtration efficiency.

5.      Pick low VOC materials

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from building materials, paints, adhesives and furniture degrade indoor air quality. Choosing low VOC or VOC-free alternatives significantly brings down VOC pollution levels indoors. This creates a healthier indoor environment.

6.      Maintain relative humidity

Mold, mildew and dust mites thrive in damp indoor environments. Monitoring and maintaining indoor relative humidity between 30-50% restricts growth of these biological pollutants. This also eliminates musty odors and prevents allergies and asthma issues among building occupants.

7.      Clean thoroughly

Settled dust and dirt easily get re-suspended and degrade indoor air quality. Deep cleaning all interior surfaces regularly using effective vacuum cleaners removes dust buildup. Professional cleaning crews can perform thorough cleaning to lower pollutant levels.

Following these key strategies conscientiously helps commercial facility owners enhance their indoor air quality substantially. This promotes better occupant health, comfort and workplace productivity.

How Lange Mechanical Can Help

Enhancing indoor air quality is crucial for the health and safety of occupants, especially post-COVID-19. It not only reduces disease transmission but also lowers energy costs. Lange Mechanical, with over 42 years in HVAC, offers expert solutions for your commercial property’s unique needs, from advanced system installations to maintenance and building automation for improved efficiency.

Trust us to ensure your indoor air quality is optimal. Contact us at (713) 688-3861 to explore the best HVAC solutions for your commercial space.