It’s time to acknowledge that poor indoor air quality is a real threat to your St. Matthews, KY business and your employees. If you aren’t already monitoring or treating your commercial space, you could be risking a serious condition known as building-related illness. In addition to putting workers in harm’s way, this pollution-related condition can also drag down your bottom line. To solve this challenging problem, the first step is understanding the threat.
Is Your Commercial Space a Health Hazard?
Most people tend to associate indoor air pollution with aging, decrepit structures that haven’t been well-maintained. In reality, pollutants come from a wide range of sources and affect structures of all ages. In fact, even a reported 30% of new and remodeled buildings suffer from air quality issues. Most buildings simply aren’t equipped to deal with the airborne pollutants generated by many everyday objects and materials around the workplace.
Air pollution comes in many forms, ranging from dust and pollen to combustion byproducts and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Many potentially hazardous compounds are produced by off-gassing from paint, wood preservatives, furnishings, office equipment, and plenty of other sources. Perhaps surprisingly, air fresheners and cleaning supplies can frequently contribute to air pollution as well. Organic growth, dust mites, airborne pathogens, and other biological contaminants are also common. Even excessive or insufficient humidity can affect air quality and cause detrimental effects. If these various particulates, gases, and other contaminants aren’t adequately filtered or ventilated, they can easily build to unsafe levels.
The Bottom Line on Building-Related Illness
Indoor air pollution is an insidious threat because its effects are often subtle. The problems often begin with a condition known as sick building syndrome. Employees may begin complaining of various short-term symptoms that seem to occur only while indoors. This includes headaches, fatigue, dizziness, itchy skin, and irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract. In some cases, significant pollution problems can also cause a more serious building-related illness. Building-related illnesses are a group of conditions with clinically defined symptoms and specific causes. Examples include Legionnaires’ disease, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and asthma.
Regardless of the specifics, any significant indoor air quality issue can wreak havoc on your business. Employees who are exposed to contaminated air are more likely to miss work, with building-related illnesses often causing extended absences. Even when employees continue working, breathing stagnant air has clear effects on performance and job satisfaction. This ultimately means lost productivity, a greater potential for mistakes, and costly monetary losses for your business. In extreme cases, you could even be held liable for any harm caused by providing an unhealthy work environment.
Implementing an Indoor Air Quality Remediation Plan
It’s clearly no exaggeration to say that a clean, healthy workplace is a competitive advantage for your business. To protect your business from insidious air pollution problems, it’s important to start with a comprehensive indoor air quality assessment. With the proper training and equipment, a qualified service technician can quickly identify any air quality issues. Following the initial assessment, the next step is to identify troublesome pollution sources and control them as much as possible.
There are also other measures you can take to ensure effective long-term remediation. Installing a commercial ventilation system can help to flush out airborne contaminants and provide a steady flow of fresh air. If you already have ventilation in place, it may be necessary to expand or upgrade your equipment. A high-efficiency air filtration system is also a worthwhile investment that can actively eliminate most airborne particles. Additionally, persistently low or high humidity levels may necessitate adding a humidifier or dehumidifier to your climate control system. Finally, having your HVAC system serviced on a regular schedule reduces pollutants and keeps your equipment functioning at a high level.
A building-related illness can bring even the most successful business to its knees if it’s not handled properly. Let the specialists at KLM Heating & Cooling help you create a happier, healthier, and more productive environment for your business. Explore our expert indoor air quality services or give us a call to get started.