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5 reasons why working professionals should care about Indoor Air Quality

Posted on September 10, 2015 5 reasons why working professionals should care about Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the quality of air inside or around   buildings.  Indoor air directly or indirectly affects the health of people working in that building. In many offices, colleges and hospitals HVAC systems (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems) are used for cooling and air ventilation.

A HVAC system has two main units:

  • Cooling coil Unit – This unit cools down the air with the help of water.
  • Ventilation Duct unit– This unit circulates the cool air in the building

In both units, humidity levels are high and allow for bacteria, viruses, fungi and molds  to  thrive.  Very often, Bio-film is formed on cooling coils and on the walls of the duct. Air passing through these ducts gets contaminated and may transfer diseases from one room to another, from one person to another.

If Indoor Air Quality is poor then it gives a Sick Building Syndrome. It creates hazardous effects on people working in that building. Here are 5 reasons why working professionals should care about Indoor Air Quality in their offices.

  • 1

    Long working hours: Every office going person normally spends up to 9 hours in office.

  • 2

    Many people breathing the same air: In big office complexes, thousands of employees are working together, often more than 100 on each floor, serviced by one HVAC unit. Some may be suffering from airborne diseases like the common cold, influenza etc. In such cases, chances of cross-contamination are high. Worse still, similar risks exist and are compounded in hospitals.

  • 3

    Effect on concentration and quality of work: Poor Indoor Air Quality gives rise to Sick Building Syndrome, which is experienced as a feeling of fatigue and exhaustion at the end of the day, often accompanied by headaches. This affects concentration and the quality of work.

  • 4

    Frequent absenteeism:  Have you wondered why some people remain absent frequently due to health issues? The reason may lie in the fact that those with a lower immunity are more prone to pick up infections in a closed space.

  • 5

    HVAC cooling coils and ducts are NOT cleaned periodically: Cooling coils and ducts are main places where contamination begins and grows. But these are also the places which are hidden from normal people   and are difficult to clean. For deadly microorganisms, biofilm is a perfect breeding ground.

What can be done to improve Indoor Air Quality and prevent cross contamination?

  • Using a HEPA filter: A HEPA filter, filters the cool air before it is released   in the room. While dust and some microorganisms are filtered, viruses such as H1N1 Virus, (swine flu) are not killed. Trapped bacteria in the filter again start growing at a rapid pace and form colonies.
  • Installing  a UV Air purification system: UV technology is  highly effective in killing bacteria, fungi  and viruses. Well designed UV systems installed within  the HVAC system keep the coils and ducts bacteria free and greatly reduces the chance of cross contamination.
  • Taking a walk outside: If possible, make a few trips outdoors and practice a little deep breathing. Although outdoor air may not seem that fresh, it is very often less contaminated than indoor air.

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Comments ( 1 )

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