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Common Signs and Negative Impact of Poor Air Quality in Commercial Buildings

For commercial building owners, there is a lot that goes into maintaining a building. All of the utilities must be operating, the roof and structure of the building must be up to code and the overall comfort of the people inside the building are all considerations that might weigh heavy on the minds of building owners. One common issue we see with buildings looking to be as efficient and healthy as possible is the indoor air quality. Indoor air quality refers to the quality of air around and inside a commercial building. Understanding and controlling pollutants can help reduce risks of indoor health concerns. In today’s blog, we are going to dig into what indoor air pollution is, what impact it has, and how you can make sure your building’s indoor air quality is healthy, safe, and comfortable.

Poor Indoor Air Quality Causes

We are often asked what makes poor indoor air quality, and what should you look out for in maintaining the quality of air in a building. The following are five basic things that can lead to poor indoor air quality:

  • Not enough ventilation, lack of fresh outdoor air or contaminated air being brought into the building
  • Poor upkeep of ventilation, and heating and air-conditioning systems
  • Dampness and moisture damage due to leaks, flooding or high humidity
  • Occupant activities, such as construction or remodeling
  • Indoor and outdoor contaminated air

Poor Indoor Air Quality Symptoms

These all negatively impact the quality of the air inside but are not the only risk factors to consider. Air quality is difficult for some people to gauge because pollutants are often colorless, odorless, and not immediately recognizable, Preventative maintenance is the best defense against poor indoor air quality before it becomes a source of illness or pain in the people exposed to the detrimental air quality. Immediate effects might include irritated eyes, nose, and throat. Other effects include headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.

Indoor air quality can also have long-lasting impacts to those who experience long-term exposure. Long-term concerns include respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. These impacts are often hard to track or manage, so maintaining good indoor air quality before these serious issues arise is critical. For all of these effects or symptoms of poor air quality, a trademark of these illnesses, especially the immediate symptoms is the presence of these issues in the workplace and little to no issues once leaving the building.

How to Manage Indoor Air Quality

Fresh air inside a commercial building is often hard to come by, so the air system in a building has to be clean, maintained and tested to ensure the safety of the occupants. There are self-tests you can perform, but they often don’t give an in-depth assessment of what is really causing air issues. According to the EPA, over the course of numerous recent studies, indoor air pollution can be as much as 2-5 times higher than outdoor levels. This means air flow through your building is critical to maintaining healthy air. The systems in your building can help clean the air, but you also need to be aware of the negative impacts of air flowing into the building through cracks and inefficiencies. Our trained professionals at Building Envelope Allies are certified in identifying inefficiencies and correcting issues with the airflow in your commercial building. With a comprehensive air maintenance program, you can rest assured the building is healthy and more importantly, the people inside the building are healthy as well.

Long-term Business Impacts of Poor Air Quality

Finally, people often wonder about the long-term impact of poor air quality on the businesses within the building. When left unresolved, the health effects of the people struggling in a workplace with poor air quality can lead to devastating business impacts. When people are not healthy in the workplace, businesses often see increased absenteeism, reduced efficiency, and poor employee morale. A place of business and the environment in which work gets done is critical for the business itself. To protect your commercial business, the people within it and the building itself, start a comprehensive plan to maintain proper air quality today. We are more than happy to help you get started in creating a maintenance plan with building diagnostic testing. Our professionals are standing by, ready to answer any of your questions.