IMPROVING INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN BUSINESS PREMISES
Indoor air quality (IAQ) at the business premises is the subject of much concern and for good reason. The air quality of the indoor environment can profoundly affect the health, comfort, and productivity of occupants. It’s a well known fact that the indoor air quality may drop by mid day in business premises and corporate offices. IAQ becomes a problem when the indoor air accumulates dust and objectionable odours, chemical contaminants, dampness, the amount of air movement, its temperature and humidity.
Some health-related complaints associated with poor air quality are headaches, sinus problems, congestion, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and irritation of the eyes, nose or throat. Such symptoms are often difficult to associate with the workplace. The indoor environment is usually not the suspected cause of occupant symptoms unless the symptoms are shared by a number of occupants, found to be unreasonably persistent or there is a distinct odour or other unusual quality to the air. Some health-related complaints may be due to allergic reactions. Typical indoor allergens include dust mites, cat dander, and mould spores. When exposed to such allergens, 10 percent or more of the population may exhibit symptoms including sneezing, swollen airways or asthma-like attacks.
Why is ventilation important?
Poor IAQ may develop when enough fresh air is not introduced to reduce contaminant concentrations. The HVAC system must provide a comfortable environment. The perception of still or stale air, odours, and errant temperature and humidity levels leads to discomfort eventually creating IAQ complaints. Many IAQ complaints originate with the HVAC system failing to meet occupants’ comfort needs, either by not adequately controlling temperature and humidity levels or by not delivering outside air evenly to occupants.
What can be done about IAQ complaints?
Facility managers should take occupant concerns seriously and respond quickly. First, the following information should be gathered and verified, preferably through interviews with occupants and a visual inspection:
- What are the specific complaints?
- Where in the building are similar concerns about IAQ occurring?
- When does the problem occur?
- Who is affected? Is it isolated, or over a large area?
- What health effects or discomfort are occupants experiencing?
Indoor air quality concerns are a fact of life for building owners, business owners, facility managers, and occupants. It is possible and necessary to provide a work environment that is healthy and safe. Call EPSCO India for IAQ Audits. We will establish clear lines of communication so that IAQ issues can be detected and resolved as soon as possible. A business premise managed with an eye for preventing IAQ problems greatly reduces the likelihood of chronic discomfort and will likely increase building occupants’ productivity.