Why Indoor Air Quality Matters at Work

Indoor air quality is becoming increasingly important for all work environments today.  The HVAC-R mechanical systems are the heart and soul of managing and adjusting indoor air to meet the needs of specific markets including healthcare facilities, commercial office buildings, educational facilities and many other businesses.

Independent research shows that most people spend 90% of their lives indoors and indoor air is likely to contain twice the pollutants of outside air. Managing indoor air quality requires HVAC-R systems to provide enough outdoor air to dilute the indoor contaminants through proper ventilation. Equally important is removing exhaust air from your facility and keeping humidity levels within industry standards. Keep in mind, humidity levels may vary throughout a single facility or industry, but the overarching goal is to manage employee comfort and prevent the build-up of mold and other contaminants.

HVAC-R mechanical systems have an impact on how pollutants are managed. They can also be a source of pollutants if not maintained properly. Contaminated filters, stagnant water in drip pans or excess moisture in air ducts are all enemies combatting indoor air quality. Some of the problems we have encountered with clients include:

  • The original ventilation system design no longer allows for proper air delivery because the business has changed and individual business units are more complex.
  • The outside air pollutants have changed over time and no adjustments have been made to the HVAC-R system. This may require a change in filtration systems and maintenance to accommodate for pollutants not originally planned for.
  • Rebalancing the amount of outside air may be required to accommodate for the environmental and business structure today.

An EPA economic analysis of repairs performed on an elementary school showed that if an investment of $370 per year, over 22 years ($8,140), had been spent on preventative maintenance, $1.5 million in repairs could have been avoided. There is no arguing the cost of installing and maintaining your HVAC-R is one of the most expensive operating costs your business faces. There is also little argument that poor indoor air quality can lead to employee health issues and performance. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Call us today for an analysis of your HVAC-R mechanical systems and learn how we can help you save money.