How important is improving office air quality? Just think how much time you and your staff spend in the office each week. Experts estimate that Americans spend on average 90% of our time indoors! Good air quality is critical for our health, but also for the comfort of employees and customers alike. Here are a few tips for improving the air you breathe at work.
The Importance of HEPA Filters
Dirt and dust tracked into your office or facility increases indoor air pollution significantly, causing allergies, breathing problems, and itchy eyes. Commercial vacuum cleaners typically use a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration system, which traps dust particles and allergens down to 3 microns in size. HEPA is a federal standard, set by the U.S. Department of Energy for improving air quality. Beware of vacuums labeled “HEPA-like,” as these do not meet the federal standards. For best results, ensure that your office is cleaned with a machine using a sealed HEPA filtration system.
Floor Care Helps Improve Office Air Quality
We notice the dust that accumulates on surfaces, but the worst offenders lie beneath our feet. Carpet is the worst surface for trapping particles that cause indoor air contamination, but hard surface floors also accumulate mold, dirt, dust mites, and other pathogens that can become airborne as people walk by. Minimize this risk by placing doormats both inside and out, and having them wet-cleaned weekly. Daily vacuuming and mopping will help keep pollutants under control. Control office humidity as much as possible, as mold and dust mites thrive in a moist environment.
Beware of Chemicals and Cleaning Products
Volatizing chemicals of any kind into the office air can cause extreme reactions for many people, especially those who have asthma or allergies. Avoid sprays of all types during the workday if possible. Cleaning products are the most likely culprits for causing negative reactions, but even air freshener sprays may cause problems. Pesticides sprays are especially troublesome for many people. Beware also of mixing any type of chemicals, even accidentally, as the combination may produce toxic fumes.
The best way to ensure your office’s air quality is to employ the regular services of a professional office cleaning company. Commercial cleaning services have the proper equipment for cleaning potential air pollutants, and for trapping particles before they become airborne. Having your office cleaned after hours can further help avoid any negative reactions employees or customers may have to chemicals or cleaning products. You take good care of your staff and clients all year long. Improving office air quality is just one more way to show how much you value them.