Indoor air quality is a hot topic in commercial facility maintenance today. Winter is notorious for the cold and flu season, which can cause what is known in the maintenance world as “sick building syndrome.” As indoor air quality worsens, bacteria, viruses, and mold can spread through the HVAC system of a facility and cause everyone in the building to feel sick.
Maintaining indoor air quality is especially important as our nation continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The cleaner the air in your facility, the better your chances of reducing the spread of illness and. Even if your employees do not get sick from COVID-19 or another virus, these indoor air contaminants can worsen respiratory health and cause other illnesses to affect them more severely.
Watch out for these common indoor air contaminants that could be causing sick building syndrome:
Mold is not only a common cause of drywall damage, it can easily circulate through your vents and cause serious illness among tenants and staff. If your employees are breathing it in, they can become sick on their own or have worsening symptoms of respiratory illnesses like asthma.
Chemicals like polyurethane, formaldehyde and other VOCs are commonly present in commercial facilities. They are either used in chemical cleaners and solvents or brought in through upholstery or furniture used in the office. Be careful where you source these materials, as overexposure to VOCs can cause long-term respiratory damage.
Radon and carbon monoxide
These colorless, odorless gases are lethal if leaking into your facility. Radon, which is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, comes from uranium decay in soils. Carbon monoxide is also deadly if inhaled and can come from defective heaters, so be sure to test your facility for these gases and install a CO monitor to prevent injury or death.
Maintaining indoor air quality not only helps keep everyone safe and healthy but creates a better atmosphere for productivity. To learn more about how you can keep your HVAC system and indoor air in the best condition, contact us today.