Maintaining high indoor air quality (IAQ) is critical to the well-being of any building’s occupants. Poor IAQ is shown to pose both long- and short-term health risks as well as poorer employee performance. While many environmental factors contribute to IAQ, we’re addressing some of the key ways your HVAC system can improve conditions.
Improving air circulation can work against dusty or polluted air or uneven temperatures…and it’s easy to do! Your blower motor is responsible for circulating conditioned air, but it can be programmed to run even when the AC/heat pump/furnace is not running. This can homogenize temperatures, reduce contaminant buildup and increase the amount of air passing through your system filters.
About Those Filters…
Depending on the amount of potential particulates in the air, you may want to change your filters every month or even more frequently. You can follow the manufacturer’s guide, but when the filter starts to turn darker, you’ll know that it’s time for a replacement. And there’s really no issue with replacing them too frequently, so err on the side of proactivity here. Doing this not only improves IAQ, it’ll also improve the performance and longevity of your HVAC system.
Having regular, seasonal inspections performed by certified technicians will not only ensure the system is operating safely, but also boost IAQ. That’s because HVAC techs don’t just check for issues, they also clean dust and debris from furnaces, air conditioners and other key components.
Additionally, when air conditioners and heat pumps cool your space, they also remove moisture from the air. It’s important to monitor these systems for mold and bacteria buildup, and your HVAC technician should be on the lookout for abnormal smells when the system is running.
HVAC systems alone are not the sole driver of IAQ, so it may be worth investing in some additional tools to support the cause. Humidifiers can improve IAQ, especially during cold winters where dry air can have a number of negative impacts on the space and its occupants. Conversely, dehumidifiers can remove moisture from the air during excessively humid months. Finally, air purifiers can kill viruses and bacteria before they spread. In a shared workspace where people bring all sorts of colds and flus with them, air purifiers can be a great tool for keeping occupants healthy!
There are innumerable factors that impact IAQ in a space; if you’re concerned about the well-being of your building’s occupants, bring in a professional to establish a baseline and to recommend these and any other tools needed to create a happy, healthy workforce.