Improve Your Office Indoor Air Quality!

Do you work in office building? Chances are that you do, and chances are that you suffer from poor indoor air quality. With allergens, pollen and mold spores making their way into your office building, it is important to learn the easy ways you can improve the air that you breathe for most of the day.

Indoor air quality has a significant effect on your ability to breathe clearly at work. Poor indoor air quality can increase your risk of illness and lead to serious health problems. Fixing and maintaining good office indoor air quality involves many factors, including, “Maintaining good indoor air quality requires attention to the building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system;” as the EPA outlined, it also includes, “the design and layout of the space; and pollutant source management.” (EPA.gov). Here are easy steps you and your office can take, to improve your office air quality:

1)      Do not block air vents: Make sure that your HVAC systems vents are clear from boxes or other materials to ensure that you are getting clean, filtered air throughout the entire office

2)      Be aware of furniture spacing: If possible, keep copiers, fax machines, desks and other office equipment away from the HVAC system.  This can restrict air flow and can also cause the HVAC to release too much cool air.

3)      Purchase air purifiers: If you did not take part in the planning of your building, chances are that there is not adequate ventilation in all areas. This will cause unpleasant smells in the air, which contributes to a poor indoor air quality. An air purifier will remove odors, particles, smoke, smog, and other contaminants from the air you and your coworkers breathe all day.

4)      Clean up water spills ASAP: spilled water and wet areas can lead to the growth of mold, mildew and other bacterial spores. This will get into the air that breathe and can cause health problems. If your office feels particularly “damp”, consider using a dehumidifier.

5)      Change filters regularly: If management doesn’t do so already, let them know the importance of changing air filters every 3 to 6 months. For ease, you can purchase a convenient 6 pack of air filters in whatever size you need that will last you the entire year!

With this fall promising to be one of the worst for allergies, it is important to do your best to create a healthy work environment. The 5 simple steps outlined above will keep your office air as clean as possible. This will prevent you from developing respiratory problems and help keep your allergies at bay.

Cool Benefits of Clean Air Filters During the Heatwave

“Something told me to change my air filter!”

Do you feel like jumping in a pool of ice water just to cool off from this scorching heat? But then again, what chance does the ice stand before it quickly becomes lukewarm water? It’s not just sweat that we have to be concerned about or how uncomfortable the heat makes us feel, but the health risks that result from the intensity of how hot it is outdoors.

As we watch record-breaking temperatures rise across the country and around the world, we are also witnessing our electricity bills skyrocket from simply trying to stay cool indoors. Outside temperatures are sweltering even before you factor in the heat index. High ozone level warnings and heat strokes are contributing to serious illnesses, breathing difficulty and in some cases proven fatal. Two common denominators that seem to be an ongoing problem with air conditioning systems include routine HVAC maintenance checks and regularly changing your air filters.

Here are four benefits for maintaining clean air filters during this heatwave:

1.      Saves you money

2.      Improves indoor air quality

3.      Allows for better airflow to cool your indoors more effectively

4.      Helps your system to perform with optimal results

Airborne pollutants and allergens such as dust, smoke, pet dander, mold spores and dirt clogs your air filter, reduces your airflow and puts a strain on your air conditioning system. For optimum performance, based on usage, your indoor air quality and the type of furnace air filter you use, be sure to change your air filter regularly, especially during this summer heat.

Choosing the air filter that best suits your personal needs can include one of the following:

Fiberglass/Polyester Air Filters are the most economical and probably the least effective. Their media captures large particles, but are not effective for capturing smaller airborne particles.

Polypleated Air Filters are generally made from polyester or cotton media. This filter is denser and captures more airborne pollutants than fiberglass air filters or washable and reusable filters.

Permanent Electrostatically Charged Air Filters like the Filtrete Ultra Allergen Air Filter are made of electrostatically charged fibers that help to capture airborne particles magnetically drawn to the air filter.

Electronic Air Filters are permanent fixtures in your HVAC systems and require an electrical connection.  They may capture smaller instead of larger particles. Electronic cleaners however, can produce ozone, which is a lung irritant.

HEPA Air Filters like the IQAir HealthPro Hyper HEPA Air Filter Replacement is thicker than standard sized HEPA Filters. It captures many airborne particles and allergens such as pollen, dirt, dust, pet dander, hair, mold spores, bacteria and other indoor air pollutants as small as 0.3 microns.

According to the EPA, indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks. Be sure to check your evaporator coils if you have access to them and your ductwork to make sure they are clean every time you change your air filter. Although this intense heatwave will zap you of your energy and dehydrate your body, don’t allow your air conditioning system to suffer performance fatigue by neglecting to change your air filter frequently.