No matter what you may think, cutting your HVAC budget is not conducive to your business environment. The age of your system can directly affect your indoor air quality, which in essence, can affect the comfort of your employees, your customers and ultimately your bottom line.
Poor commercial indoor air quality can stem from a variety of factors. These include, excessively dry or overly humid air, temperatures that are too hot or too cold, odd odors, allergens and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that emanate from chemicals such as cleaning solvents, resins, paints and more. VOCs can also emanate from substances such as formaldehyde, phthalates, and other substances that are hidden within in many buildings, such as lead and asbestos.
Negative effects of some substances like lead or asbestos is well known, but adverse consequences of other undesirable substances is less understood, even though many chemicals emitting VOCs are carcinogenic and can negatively impact the endocrine and nervous systems of the human body. Frequently, VOCs and substances such as molds, fungi and other undesirable particles that inhabit commercial building ventilation systems exacerbate allergies and can worsen breathing problems.
The danger comes when pollutants and irritants build to a level where they become noticeable, as most people spend up to 90% of their lives inside buildings. With the push toward making all buildings more air tight to conserve energy, air exchange between the interior and the exterior is reduced, thus leading to a faster build up of contaminants. Proper ventilation to allow build-up to escape to the outside is more important than ever, along with the installation of air purifiers and similar measures that will keep air cleaner inside commercial establishments.
Fortunately, as a business owner, you can do a lot of small things that will make commercial indoor air quality better. First off, if your system is more than 10 years old, think about replacing it. Today’s systems are much more energy efficient and when combined with commercial air cleaners, remove particulates much quicker. Schedule maintenance and duct cleaning on a regular basis to reduce particle build-up. Bring in extra ventilation when work is performed that may involved VOC’s.
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