Many office and factory workers spend a lot of time inside a building during the day, but aren’t aware of the harmful effects of indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution may come from mold, building materials, cleaning agents or chemicals, and even copy machines. Without the proper air ventilation system, indoor air pollution can affect workers’ health.
HVAC Systems that are not properly installed or maintained can lead to Sick Building Syndrome or SBS. SBS is usually temporary but can sometimes lead to long-term problems, such as Legionnaire’s disease. Some of the symptoms of SBS include dry eyes and nose and irritated throat or skin. Employers with SBS could notice a drop in worker efficiency or more use of sick days when there is poor air quality in their building. In a Report to Congress on Indoor Air Quality in 1989, these costs related to loss of work in industry were estimated to be “tens of billions of dollars per year”. By installing an HVAC System that improves indoor air quality, employers could see improved employee health, productivity, and morale.
Depending on the nature of the pollutant and air quality problem, usually ventilation or mitigation can be the solution. When Minnesota weather and the building’s construction allows, natural ventilation by opening a window can help air out a stuffy room. Otherwise, it may be beneficial to install an air exchanger or other ventilation system. In instances where pollutants may be strong in a designated area, an exhaust system such as a local exhaust ventilation or a chemical fume hood can improve indoor air quality. Consideration can also be placed on air cleaners in an HVAC System like High Efficiency (HEPA) furnace filters or ionizers, but a properly installed and maintained HVAC system must also be in place.
If you want to learn more about how to improve the air quality in your office or workplace in West Central Minnesota, please contact Chappell Central. We can help you determine if your commercial HVAC System is providing adequate indoor air quality for your staff.