The office space should be a comfortable and conducive place for workers to work since they spend most of their time there. If you have ever noticed that your workers are slow to deliver results or deliver just a little late, upgrading the office’s indoor air quality may be a good idea. It may be that an office’s air quality has been known to improve the workers’ cognition and productivity or lower it.
By HEIDI ROSENBERG
It is even more important than ever to enhance the indoor air quality of the office space as research has shown that corona-virus can remain airborne for an extended period. So, what is indoor air quality?
What is Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is how safe and healthy the air within and around a building is. In other words, IAQ how the air within a house, office, or building impacts one’s health, comfort, and performance.
Poor air quality around the office can increase the chances of asthma, allergies, mental stress, and fatigue. Besides, research has shown that poor air quality can also impact workers’ productivity and performance.
Of course, the air quality of a building, coworking spaces, or office space is dependent on many factors such as the design and layout of the building, the number of windows, residency, the type of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning of the house (HVAC). Regardless of your workplace’s present air condition, it is never too late to upgrade the ventilation quality.
That brings us to an important question: what is the cause of poor air quality within and around a facility?
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?
Below are known causes of poor indoor air quality;
1. Insufficient ventilation
When a room does not get enough air flowing in and out, there is an increase in indoor pollutants’ chances of thriving. It becomes difficult for outdoor air to mix with the pollutant’s emission before carrying it out.
2. High temperatures
When the heat around the house is heightened, it can also impact air quality that the occupants get negatively.
Have you ever wondered why you can smell smoke on a smoker’s body for hours after smoking? It is because smoke contains over a thousand chemical substances detrimental to the respiratory system.
Dust is a tiny pollutant that circulates the office easily and can trigger some people’s allergies.
5. Chemical Pollutants
Office equipment, asbestos, furniture, and all industrially manufactured products in your office can cause chemical pollutants. These include radon, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide (CO), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), polyurethane, and formaldehyde.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Here are effective ways to increase indoor air quality;
1. Keep a neat workplace
cleaning the workplace includes deep cleaning of furniture, windows, and dusting with environmentally-friendly cleaning agents.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and it is a system that supplies heating and cooling to houses and commercial buildings. A HVAC system uses fans and flexible ducting to cycle outdoor air inside to improve the quality of indoor air. HVAC removes moisture, smoke, odours, heat, dust, airborne bacteria, carbon dioxide, and other gases.
To get the best out of HVCA, ensure you change the filters from time to time to prevent dust and other air pollutants from circulating back to your indoor air.
3. Proper Ventilation
Lack of proper ventilation is one of the major causes of poor indoor air quality. Try to allow fresh air to come in sometimes by opening your window and switching off the AC and HVAC.
Mini pot plants are not only pleasing to the eyes, but they can also help absorb carbon dioxide in the air and release oxygen into the indoor air. If sunlight doesn’t reach your room, you can make use of an indoor grow tent that helps these plants grow.
5. Air Test
Carrying out regular tests on the humidity levels, airflow, ventilation, mold growth, odors, and water damage in an office will help you make an informed decision and detect any pollutants quickly.
An office’s quality indoor air should be on top of an organization’s workers’ list because it can make or mar the overall goal and performance. Poor IAQ can increase health problems like asthma, allergies, and some respiratory problems. You can improve the air quality of a room through enhanced hygiene, use of HVAC, regular testing, ventilation, and use of plants to cool the environment.