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.

Using Humidifiers to Treat Your Child’s Cold

According to the Mayo Clinic website, “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that parents avoid using cough and cold medicines to treat children younger than age 2.” Potential drawbacks to using these medicines include possible side effects such as rapid heart rate and convulsions, and the fact that cold medicines mask present symptoms. Also, cold medicines don’t treat the underlying symptoms, so giving them to your child won’t make their cold go away any sooner.

All this begs the question: what can you do for a child’s cold? The old standbys seem to work the best: plenty of rest and fluids, cough drops to soothe a sore throat, and moistening nasal passages. One method for moistening these passages is running a cool mist humidifier. Filters Fast offers a wide variety of cool mist humidifiers to help comfort your child when they’re sick.

Here are some tips for operating cool mist humidifiers from Crane:

  • Use clean, cool water
  • Place your humidifier on waterproof surface approximately 3 feet off the ground
  • Keep your humidifier out of corners and away from walls
  • Adjust your humidifier so that it sprays up into the air, not down to the ground
  • Use a few capfuls of white vinegar and a half tub of warm water to clean

Your cool mist humidifier can be run year round to keep your family healthy and happy. Optimum humidity level in the home is 40-50% relative humidity.

Crane also states on their website that you could be eligible for a tax deduction if you doctor recommends using a cool mist humidifier primarily for medical reasons.

It’s difficult to see children suffer when they have a cold, but using these “comfort” measures, including the use of a cool mist humidifier, can make them more comfortable while they’re on the mend.

Mold Awareness – Stop the Spread and Protect Your Home

Cleaning mold

Cleaning mold – from epa.gov

Did you know that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) declared September as Mold Awareness Month? While the month draws to a close, mold is still a problem that many Americans face and awareness is quite important.

The EPA teaches us that “Molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter…[they] produce tiny spores to reproduce, just as some plants produce seeds.   These mold spores can be found in both indoor and outdoor air, and settled on indoor and outdoor surfaces. When mold spores land on a damp spot, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive…molds gradually destroy the things they grow on, you can prevent damage to building materials and furnishings and save money by eliminating mold growth.”

The spread of mold can be a serious health risk, causing symptoms such as allergic reactions, asthma, and various respiratory problems. The major source of mold spread is moisture and humidity. Whether it’s excessive rainfall or the recent influx of storms, mold is a threat with higher humidity.

While removing mold from your home can sometimes be a difficult task, there are several steps you can take to combat the threat:

  • Reduce humidity in your home by 30-60%. Your options include “venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.”
  • Clean up any sources of mold and moisture. Plug any sources of water leaks.
  • Immediately clean up or dry any damp or wet areas in your home.
  • Add insulation in order to reduce or prevent condensation.

 

Don’t wait for mold to infect your home. Be proactive and buy ED Lab Indoor Air Home Mold Test Kit to screen your indoor for mold and fungus. Or replace your current air filters with the Filters Fast Air & Furnace Filters – MERV 11, which reduce mold spores and improve your indoor air quality.