How To Improve IAQ This Winter
If you work outside of the home, it’s not the ice and cold that is the harshest part of the winter months. Instead, it’s the problems that are building in the place you work.
That’s because as many as 30 percent of commercial buildings right here in the U.S. have poor indoor air quality (IAQ), a condition that is linked to all kinds of illnesses, including respiratory illnesses, allergies, asthma, and Sick Building Syndrome.
During the winter, people are trapped inside. Airborne infections can spread when bacteria or viruses travel on dust particles when people sneeze or cough. No matter how healthy you are, it can sometimes be difficult to avoid these infectious specks as they land on their eyes, nose and mouths.
To improve IAQ in commercial property, it’s important to take a few necessary steps each year.
Pay attention to your HVAC filters
Air filters provide the primary defense against indoor air pollutants. But an air filter will only provide good IAQ when they are well maintained. That means replacing them on a regular basis. That means making sure they are installed correctly and secure, tightly fitted to avoid gaps and allow air to slip by.
Look at the MERV rating
You’ll find filters rated by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or the MERV rating. A filter’s MERV rating provides the efficiency of the filter and comes in three size ranges: E1 (very fine particles), E2 (fine particles), or E3 (coarse particles). The smallest particles are potentially the most toxic, and can travel the deepest in the lungs. Ensure your filter is rated highly and can provide the most benefits to your system.
Use filters that balance mechanical and MERV efficiency
Some filters are designed for mechanical efficiency, others to help improve IAQ. Filters that provide a good balance of both will almost always outperform one that relies solely on mechanical efficiency. Small particles are almost always easier to move through void spaces within most commercial equipment. Which means balancing out the capture efficiency is even more important to consider.
Want to improve work performance, reduce absences and reduce healthcare needs in your commercial space? Sometimes the best place to start is by paying closer attention to your building’s air filtration system. It can have a strong role in removing airborne particles that cause health problems, and improve IAQ for both better health and productivity.