Don’t make the mistake of only worrying about the quality of the air you breathe at home. While achieving healthy indoor home air quality is extremely important, it is equally as important to make sure the air you are breathing forty hours a week in the workplace is just as safe and healthy as your home air. Not only does poor workplace air quality negatively impact job performance, it can also result in a number of health issues. Your allergy and asthma symptoms may be caused by pollutants you are exposed to in the workplace. Learn more about office air quality and how you can breathe easier at work.
What are the most common problems that negatively affect workplace air quality?
Poor ventilation is often the biggest problem. This is due to a lack of fresh outdoor air being circulated throughout the building or contaminated air being brought into the building via the ventilation system. A poorly located fresh air intake vent could be drawing fumes from exhaust and bringing them into your building. Adequate ventilation is paramount in reducing the amount of air pollution inside of an office.
Poor upkeep of ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning systems is another common problem. Filters need to be replaced regularly and these systems should be routinely inspected by an HVAC professional. An older, improperly maintained ventilation system may not be able to keep up with the fresh air needs of a building.
Dampness and moisture damage due to leaks, flooding or high humidity will also negatively impact your office air quality. These conditions encourage mold growth. Mold spores can easily be spread throughout an entire office building through the ventilation system. Look for signs of dampness around window wells, vents, ceilings and roofs, and on walls and flooring.
Building occupant activities such as construction or remodeling can also have a severe impact on workplace air quality. Make sure the contractors performing these jobs take proper precautions to secure construction zones by cordoning off areas being worked on and running the proper air filtration equipment to reduce the impact of airborne particles generated by their work on neighboring office space.
What is the best way to test the air in my office?
Don’t suffer in silence in your workplace if you suspect the quality of your office air is having a negative impact on your health. An office air test will alert you to the presence of mold, formaldehyde, second-hand smoke, and hundreds of other air pollutants that may be making you sick. This test will alert you to any unsafe levels of office air pollutants so that management can take proper steps towards remediation.