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Ventilation Issues and Sick Building Syndrome – What Can You Do?

Sick building syndrome was first coined in the early 1970s as a way to describe commercial and industrial ventilation issues. It describes a situation where building occupants experience acute health symptoms only triggered after spending time in a building. These symptoms can include mild headaches and rashes, allergies, and asthma attacks.

Ventilation Issues and Sick Building Syndrome - What Can You Do?Not only is this a health issue, but it also impacts productivity too.

What causes these symptoms?

To start, a building is a hodgepodge of resources all brought into one place. During building phase, builders add in products and materials to withstand the abuse of daily living. Adhesives, stain-resistant carpet, paints, varnishes – all of those chemicals get trapped in a building and impact the air supply.

Then people continually bring more in. Every night the cleaning crew sprays chemicals into the air supply, adding more volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Dirt is tracked in. Dust floats in the air. Biological growth forms in the tiniest of places.

No matter how diligent you are at cleaning and creating a professional environment, sick building syndrome can still happen to you.

It’s also your HVAC equipment

Your HVAC system is comprised of a furnace, air conditioner, and ventilation system. As the air circulates, when the heating or cooling system turns on, it forces air through the ducts and registers throughout the building. Only it’s not just conditioned air that circulates.

Tiny pollutants include dust mites, pollen, chemicals, biological grown, insect body parts, bacteria, viruses, and more are all in the air supply, moving from room to room every time the HVAC system kicks into gear. It may not look dirty, but if it’s there, the ventilation system moves it around.

If you have construction inside your building, sawdust and sheetrock dust can also move around the building via the ventilation system. Every time the furnace or air conditioner turns on, it blows these tiny pollutants from room to room.

Get your ventilation cleaned today

There are a few ways to ensure your air supply is healthy.

First, remove problems whenever you can. Dust and clean regularly. Use environmentally safe cleaning products. Only install quality products that have low or zero VOC risk.

Next, have your HVAC system maintained regularly. This ensures your system isn’t working harder than it should, and that it’s delivering conditioned air where it’s supposed to go.

Finally, consider having your ventilation system cleaned. This ensures there aren’t pollutants and biological growth lurking in the corners of your vents, ducts, and registers waiting to move around your building and impacting all who enter.

It’s the best way to combat sick building syndrome and ensure your building stays as clean as possible.

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