Modern commercial buildings are designed to be airtight so you can retain heat, conserve energy, and minimize ongoing costs. Since this also restricts natural air flow, your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system works to ensure a constant supply of clean air throughout your building. This also removes air pollutants, such as:
But when your HVAC system starts to malfunction, the air quality in your commercial building will drop dramatically. This can have a serious impact on the health of your workers, leading to poor productivity and an increase in absences due to sickness. And since most commercial employees spend around 40 hours a week inside, you need to be able to identify and repair HVAC problems right away.
Here are the major signs of poor indoor air quality you can monitor to help you maintain optimal health in your commercial building.
The most obvious sign of poor air quality is an increase in respiratory symptoms. An unusual amount of coughing, sneezing, breathing difficulties, and allergic reactions suggests that your commercial building is full of airborne pollutants that aren’t being removed. The longer you wait to improve ventilation, the worse these problems will become.
But respiratory problems aren’t the only health implication of poor air quality. You and your employees might also experience:
These symptoms seriously interfere with the ability to work at full capacity, leading to delays, insubstantial work output, and poor decisions that affect your success. And while industrial buildings like warehouses and factories don’t see much public foot traffic, retail, leisure, and health businesses do. That means poor air quality will also impact your customers, potentially causing them to favor your competitors.
Although respiratory or performance issues are a consequence of poor air quality, they can also be caused by a wide range of other factors. So if they increase gradually, it can be easy to dismiss them as the result of changing seasons or an increased workload. But visual changes such as redness in the skin or eczema are much harder to miss.
Your skin is in constant contact with the air around you. When there’s a high level of airborne contaminants in your commercial building, they accumulate on the surface of your skin and are absorbed by your hair follicles. This causes the skin to become dry or irritated.
Skin conditions that aren’t the result of a known health problem suggest that your industrial or commercial HVAC system isn’t properly ventilating your building. Malfunctioning HVAC systems can also spread dust, bacteria, and other harmful substances, making the situation worse. If your business is located near Kansas City, MO, contact DMC Service today for commercial or industrial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning repair.
Even though your HVAC system will remove airborne dust, much will still accumulate on indoor surfaces. This is generally cleared as part of the daily cleaning routine.
But if you notice an increase in dust build-up, or your cleaning team is dusting more frequently, it’s a sign that airborne dust is settling rather than being ventilated out. That means your HVAC system isn’t performing correctly, and that your indoor air quality is worsening.
As well as clearing polluted air, HVAC systems provide air conditioning to heat or cool the building. This should lead to a reasonably even temperature throughout each room.
As you move through your commercial building, be conscious of any changes in temperature. If certain areas are noticeably warmer or colder than others, it means that your HVAC system is also failing to filter out and replace polluted air.
Smells from cleaning chemicals, office furnishings, food, or other people are common in all commercial buildings. But your HVAC system should filter these out before they start interfering with the health or productivity of your staff.
Lingering smells, however, are a sign of inefficient ventilation, and by extension poor air quality. These can be caused by:
Hiding unpleasant smells with odor eliminators also introduces additional pollutants into the air that your malfunctioning ventilator won’t remove. The only way to permanently expel these odors is with professional HVAC cleaning and maintenance.
Pollutants can enter your building through open windows, clinging to foot traffic, or as the result of using products and chemicals. But a functioning HVAC system draws out polluted air and replaces it with clean, filtered air from outside. If it’s failing to do so, there are three main reasons why:
When a commercial building needs ventilating and the HVAC system isn’t doing the job, many people simply open a window. This not only fails to fix the core problem, but also risks inviting further outdoor toxins inside, particularly in populated areas.
To keep your workers and customers safe with the highest quality air, contact DMC Service for HVAC maintenance and repair near Kansas City, MO. We perform a full diagnosis of your HVAC system, and resolve any issues keeping you from achieving optimal health and productivity.