Did you know that air pollution isn’t limited to busy streets in towns and cities? Not many of us stop to think about the pollution INSIDE our offices – the air that is circulating around us on a daily basis. We all know that traffic and industry cause pollution in the air outside, but what is happening inside? It is becoming a bigger problem inside our work environment, with indoor air up to 50% more polluted than outdoor air. Air in a poorly ventilated office can be just as polluted if not more than the air outside. When indoor air quality is poor, it is simply not as clean, fresh and pure as it should be.
Due to improved build quality of newer buildings, indoor air pollution in offices can be especially prevalent as there are less opportunities for pollutants to escape. Better insulation trapping pollutants that are created through everyday tasks in the office environment causes them to build up over time and affect the overall health of everyone who is working in proximity.
If stagnant air sits around your home for too long, you will come across all sorts of problems. Condensation can form in moist areas like the office bathrooms and kitchens and can create damp problems. Mould, which is a serious allergen, will grow and flourish. Even in building that has not previously suffered from damp, bad air quality can still cause issues. Any soft furnishings within the office can all become permeated with nasty, musty smells that can be hard to remove. Eventually poor air quality can damage the interior of your office and change the way it looks and smells long term. If you do find one day that you have a mould problem in your office, our sister company Mould Pro would be happy to assist.
Poor indoor air quality in the workplace can cause chronic health problems for you and your staff and will have a negative effect on working practices. The most common side effects of poor indoor air quality are worsened concentration and productivity levels and increased fatigue. You must wonder how many work days have been lost through sickness as a result of poor quality air!
The lungs and heart are the main organs affected. Scientific studies have shown the link between bad indoor air pollution and health issues. Nasal irritation is very common as well as dry mouth, a constricted throat and scratchy sore eyes.
Indoor air pollution is linked to causing and worsening existing conditions, including:
Sometimes just opening a window can do more harm than good as there is the risk of exposing those inside to harmful pollutants from outside such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter. These pollutants are typically created by traffic, so in many instances opening a window may not actually be an option. By opening a window there will also be an increase the amount of noise entering the workplace, further reducing the concentration levels of those working inside. Therefore suitable ventilation in place in the office should be introduced to quickly and effectively remove harmful pollutants. Reducing the level of air pollution within your office will help to improve the health, well-being and productivity and concentration levels of those working within the office.
The good news is it is easy to improve on the air quality within your office. New technology in ventilation systems will constantly monitor the humidity levels and flow rates of the air in your office, so that the system always works efficiently and effectively. Heat Recovery ventilation solutions will not only help you improve indoor air quality but also help you save money on electricity. Here at Zephyr Ventilation we are ventilation system specialists and we can advise you on the right type of ventilation system needed for your office.
A good ventilation system is the first step towards better air quality in your workplace. You can then further enhance your office space and improve air quality further by taking the following measures:
- Introduce living plants which are natural air purifiers
- Remove carpets and have natural, hard flooring instead
- Use paints and other decorating materials that are low in VOCs
- Keep photocopiers and printers in a separate well ventilated room
If you are looking to improve the air quality in your office environment for the health and wellbeing of you and your staff, give us a call to discuss the best option for cleaner air today.