As business owners and facility/maintenance managers, you work tirelessly to ensure your commercial spaces run smoothly. But there’s often an overlooked factor that can significantly impact the well-being of your occupants and the success of your operations: indoor air quality.
Whether you’re managing an industrial manufacturing plant, an office building, a healthcare facility, a restaurant, a municipality, or a school, poor air quality can affect everyone within your space. It’s important to know the signs of poor air quality and how Mazza can help create a healthier and more productive environment for your business.
Common Air Quality Issues
Before we can fix the air quality of your building, it’s important to understand what causes poor air quality. There are some common contaminants that can lurk in your commercial building that can begin to cause insufficient air quality throughout the entire building. Some of these contaminants include:
- Particulate Matter: Particulate Matter—or even Particulate Pollution as it’s also called—are tiny airborne particles that can cause respiratory problems and reduce the overall quality of your air. Some of these particles can consist of dust, dirt, soot, smoke or drops of liquid.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): VOCs are airborne gases released from various products or industrial processes. Common examples of VOCs include paints and lacquers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment, graphics and craft materials, including glues and adhesives and more.
- Mold and Mildew: Mold and mildew typically form from excessive moisture and can be harmful to your overall health. While there are many different types of mold, the one factor they all have in common is that they need moisture to grow.
- Allergens: Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to airborne allergens that circulate in the atmosphere. They can lead to allergy attacks and worsening asthma. Some common examples of allergens include dust mites, pet dander, pollen and spores.
Recognizing Poor Air Quality
Identifying the signs of poor air quality is crucial to addressing the issue promptly. Look out for:
- Accumulation of dust and debris
- Unpleasant, lingering odors
- Condensation on windows and dampness on walls
- Increased allergies and respiratory problems among occupants
- Employee fatigue and decreased productivity
- A rise in sick days taken by your team
Depending on your industry, you may face unique air quality challenges. Someone working in Healthcare might not experience the same challenges as someone working in a warehousing facility. Because of this, it’s important to know how poor air quality affects your industry.
- Industrial Manufacturing: Chemical emissions, dust and fumes are common concerns. Thankfully, there are some measures you can take to promote and provide a healthier work environment, including selecting low-emission materials.
- Office Buildings: Stagnant air and off-gassing from furniture and equipment can affect occupants. Specific office-related equipment such as photocopiers and printers can release harmful contaminants into the air.
- Healthcare Facilities: Infection control is of the utmost importance, especially with patients who are suffering from a weakened immune system, as they are more susceptible to poor air quality.
- Municipalities and Schools: Crowded spaces and potential asbestos exposure need careful monitoring. Older school buildings are especially vulnerable to the mineral as it wasn’t heavily regulated until the late 1980s.
Improving Air Quality
In the fast-paced world of business, it’s easy to overlook the air you breathe. However, poor air quality can lead to health issues, reduced productivity and increased absenteeism. Prioritizing air quality isn’t just a caring gesture; it’s a wise investment in the well-being and success of your business.
If you have any questions or concerns about air quality in your commercial building, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts at Mazza Mechanical. We can provide preventative maintenance solutions that help catch the problem before it occurs.