As we predicted before the year began, indoor air quality is a hot issue this year as companies work to combat COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses. But facility air quality isn’t just a COVID-related issue (or, at least it shouldn’t be).
Instead, air quality is an issue that can affect you and your team year-round. Seasonal allergies, mold, dust, and debris from manufacturing all can be irritants if breathed too much for too long.
So, what’s the best way to approach cleaning the air in your facilities to help your team breathe the cleanest air possible?
We’ll look at three of the top things to consider as you focus on improving the air quality in your facility.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Facility
1. Choose the Right Air Filtration System
Choosing the correct air filter is key when it comes to clean air in your facility.
Air filters are rated based on their ability to effectively keep contaminants from passing through and into the air. Filters with higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings are better able to trap small particles than those with lower numbers.
It’s important that you choose the right filter for your HVAC, based on the system you have, the facilities you are working with, and the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Here are a few other types of air filtration system to consider:
- UV Air Fixtures – Upper 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 are a tool that can help in rooms with little or no circulation or in buildings without central air and heating. The air movers are easily mounted on walls or floors, but can also be portable. They have a filter, blower and germicidal bulbs to pass air in and out with ongoing disinfection.
- Biopolar Ionization – Bipolar ionization can be used in HVAC or portable air cleaners to make particles that are both positively and negatively charged. This is a relatively new technology so it’s not widely in use. However, it has been shown to be effective in killing germs and viruses.
No matter which air filtration system you choose, be sure to maintain your HVAC equipment and update and upgrade when necessary. That’s the easiest way to have a clean air focus in your facility.
2. Keep Carpets Clean
Another way to care for the air in your facility is by paying special attention to your floors and carpets.
It may seem counterintuitive, but carpets can really be helpful in trapping allergens and germs. Essentially, your carpet acts as another air filter for your facility. But to be effective, though, they need to be maintained and cleaned regularly.
But not just any carpet cleaning process will do the job. Many carpet cleaning companies use hot water extraction, which can take a long time to dry. This approach can cause regrowth of mold, mildew and bacteria.
That’s why you want to look for companies that use a low-moisture carpet cleaning process (which is what we use at DPM Care).
Our carpet cleaning process is proven to neutralize 90% of all allergens, bacteria, and fungi in your environment using our Spectrum™ process, while significantly improving indoor air quality. And our SaniClean™ process goes a step further to neutralize 99% of all microbial and organic contaminants in your carpet.
Specialized testing is performed prior to cleaning to determine specific fungi and bacterial elements present—and a follow-up test ensures those elements have been 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 Chemistries Used in Your Building
Oftentimes, businesses overlook how various products used inside the building can contribute to indoor air quality.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are human-made chemicals that can emit gas and have a negative impact on the air quality in a building. Cleaning supplies, paints and varnishes, pesticides and building materials are all common culprits of VOCs in the air.
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, getting lots of air flow into the building will help.
Improving Indoor Air Quality for Healthier Work Environments
Indoor air quality has always mattered. But COVID-19 has brought this conversation to the forefront. Our hope is that companies––and their employees and customers––will reap the benefit of a renewed focus on improving indoor air quality both now and in the future.
At DPM, we want you and your teams, customers, vendors and anyone else in your facilities to be breathing the best air possible.
For more information about our carpet cleaning processes and how that can contribute to better indoor air quality, give us a call. We’d love to help.