Indoor air quality is something that’s not being talked about enough. The fact that the indoor air can, in some cases, be even more polluted than the air outside should be reason enough to start paying more attention to it. Not only will low-quality indoor air negatively affect the productivity of your employees but it can actually lead to more serious health issues.
That’s why you need to test the quality of the indoor air in your office and ensure that it meets the optimum standard. If it doesn’t, do know that there are effective ways you can tackle and improve this issue. That said, here are some of the most effective ways you can assess and improve the quality of the air in your workplace.
What causes poor indoor air quality?
There are plenty of factors that can diminish the quality of the air we breathe indoors. In the office setting, some of the guiltiest culprits include electronics, plastic, office supplies such as glues and similar products and even the furniture pieces. If you add to the equation the number of people in the office – especially if it’s an open floor plan, the number of pollutants will only increase.
Since the office space is a place where there’s commonly plenty of foot traffic, you can imagine just how many pollutants get raised into the air you breathe. Finally, dust, grime and even mold that can collect in the HVAC system also pose a serious threat.
Assess the situation
While everything previously mentioned does sound scary, there are ways you can tackle the problem and find a solution. But you will first need to assess the current state of your indoor air, which will give you an idea of where you should begin. When testing the air, there are so many things you could focus on. However, the most crucial factors include humidity, the level of carbon monoxide and dioxide and the temperature of the indoor air.
As far as humidity is concerned, anywhere between 30 – 60% is fine. But, when talking about the office temperature, things can become a bit tricky. Women generally like warmer environments. So, while an office that’s generally male-populated can feature a 71.5°F, an office that’s mostly crowded with women should be a bit warmer, but not too much. Finally, optimal carbon dioxide levels are around 800 ppm while carbon monoxide shouldn’t reach over 5 – 9 ppm.
Deal with the problem
Once you manage to assess the state of your indoor air, you will know what the situation is like. If any of the readings are less than optimal, see to it that you tackle the problem as soon as possible. First of all, make sure you clean and air out your office space more regularly. Furthermore, assess the state of your HVAC system. If you look at these systems as the “lungs” of your office space the need to keep them clean and functional will become even greater.
Additionally, make sure that there’s no mold in your office, as it can lead to some serious, potentially life-threatening complications. That’s why you should also invest in a quality air purifier for mold. When selecting the purifier, however, make sure you go for the one that has enough capacity for your office space. Otherwise, if you choose the one that’s too small, it won’t really be able to do the job right.
Another thing you can do to keep your office indoor air cleaner is talk to your employees. By raising awareness about this serious matter and asking your employees to help you keep the indoor air clean, chances are you’ll be more than happy with the result. Airing the office out regularly is something every employee can partake in. Also, if you manage to raise awareness the right way, your employees might be more prone to go outside or stand next to an open window when using some of the known pollutants, such as glue or similar adhesives. Keeping the office and the indoor air clean should be a joined effort. So, encourage your employees to help you out.
Use nature to beat pollution
Finally, you can use nature to your advantage and reduce air pollution in your office. Office plants not only add to the aesthetic appeal of the space but they are also excellent at purifying the indoor air and keeping it clean. Some of the best plants for this purpose include Pothos, Dwarf Date Palm, Spider plant as well as ZZ plant. Of course, there are plenty of others you can choose from that might fit better with your office space.
Keep in mind that the quality of the indoor air you breathe is one of the most important things you need to pay attention to. If the air quality is not great, make sure you do all you can to improve it. Otherwise, it may lead to some serious problems that could have easily been avoided.