3 Ways to Improve Your Facility’s Air Quality
Indoor air quality matters more than ever in 2021, as many employees are returning to their offices and companies are looking for ways to protect them from the airborne COVID-19 virus. But facility air quality isn’t just a COVID-related issue (or, at least it shouldn’t be).
In fact, air quality can affect you and your team year-round. Seasonal allergies, mold, dust, and debris from manufacturing can all act as irritants if you breathe too much of them for too long. Plus, certain colds and other viruses aside from COVID-19 are transmitted through the air.
If you’re looking to improve your cleaning and ventilation systems as employees return to the office, or you just want to make sure your air quality is up to par before the start of cold and flu season, here are three areas to consider:
1. Upgrade Your Air Filtration System
Choosing the correct air filter is key when it comes to improving indoor air quality.
Air filters are rated based on their ability to effectively keep contaminants from passing through and into the air. Look for filters with higher minimum efficiency reporting value ratings, as they are better able to trap small particles than those with lower ratings.
Keep in mind that air filters are not one size fits all. It’s important to choose the right filter for your HVAC, based on the type of system you have, the size of your facility, and the manufacturer’s recommendation.
If your air filtration system needs to be replaced, or you’re looking for a new type of solution for your facility, here are some other types of systems you may want to consider:
- UV Air Fixtures — Upper-room air fixtures use UV bulbs to force germicidal light upward toward the ceiling, thus disinfecting the air above everyone and everything in the room.
- UVC Air Movers — Germicidal air movers can help in rooms with little or no circulation, and in buildings without central air and heating. These air movers are easily mounted on walls or floors, and they can also be portable. They include a filter, blower, and germicidal bulbs to pass air in and out with ongoing disinfection.
- Bipolar Ionization — Bipolar ionization can be used in HVAC or portable air cleaners to charge oxygen molecules in order to eliminate the dangerous effects of harmful substances. This is a relatively new technology, but it has been shown to be effective in killing germs and viruses.
- Dry Hydrogen Peroxide System — This system takes oxygen and humidity from the air and turns it into dry hydrogen peroxide, which is able to fight viruses, bacteria, and other harmful particles both in the air and also on surfaces. This is also a new type of technology, but an independent study found that it can reduce 98.7% of the COVID-19 virus on surfaces in 2 hours.
No matter which air filtration system you choose, be sure to maintain your HVAC equipment as recommended by the manufacturer, and don’t wait to update or upgrade when necessary.
2. Keep Carpets Clean
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you’re looking to improve the air in your facility, make sure you pay attention to the floors and carpets.
Carpets can help trap allergens and germs, essentially acting as another air filter for your facility. But for this to be effective, the carpets need to be regularly maintained and cleaned.
And not just any carpet cleaning process will get the job done. Many cleaning companies use hot water extraction, but that can take a long time to dry, leading to regrowth of mold, mildew and bacteria.
Because of this, make sure to look for a carpet cleaning company that uses a low-moisture carpet cleaning process, like we do at DPM Care.
Our carpet cleaning process is proven to neutralize 90% of all allergens, bacteria, and fungi using our Spectrum™ process, while significantly improving indoor air quality. And with our SaniClean™ system, we go a step further to neutralize 99% of all microbial and organic contaminants in your carpet.
Before cleaning, we perform specialized testing to determine which fungi and bacterial elements are present. Then afterward we do a follow-up to ensure those elements were effectively removed.
Want to see for yourself? Here are test results showing the level of bacteria present in the carpet before and after our carpet cleaning process.
3. Pay Attention to the Chemicals Used in Your Facility
Oftentimes, businesses overlook how various products used inside the building can affect indoor air quality.
Volatile organic compounds are human-made chemicals that can emit gas and negatively impact the air quality in a building. Cleaning supplies, paints, varnishes, pesticides, and building materials are all common culprits.
In fact, studies have shown that construction materials, such as flooring and adhesives, can be a major source of indoor air pollution.
So, how do you improve this?
For starters, pay attention to the products being used in your facility. Whenever possible, use non-toxic cleaning products and building materials with low VOC content.
But if you must use products that contain a higher content of gas-emitting chemicals, ensuring plenty of airflow into the building will help minimize their impact on the air quality.
Keep Your People Healthy by Improving Indoor Air Quality
It’s true that indoor air quality has taken on a new significance for many building owners and managers in the past year and a half. But indoor air quality mattered before COVID-19, and it will continue to matter even after the pandemic ends.
Our hope is that companies will continue to prioritize this topic and see their employees and customers reap the rewards, both now and in the future.
At DPM Care, we want you — and your teams, customers, vendors, and anyone else who sets foot in your facility — to breathe the best air possible.
For more information about our carpet cleaning processes and the ways they can contribute to better indoor air quality, give us a call today. We’d love to help.