Learn how the ability of high-efficiency air filters improve indoor air quality in the office and can maximize employee productivity.
Air pollution is often thought of only in terms of the air we breathe outdoors, but indoor air pollution is just as harmful. The air inside the workplace may be affecting employees in more ways than one. Commercial office buildings, retail spaces and industrial facilities need to review and perhaps upgrade to high-efficiency air filters.
Indoor air pollution in the office can be caused by spaces such as conference rooms, offices and corridors being kept shut year-round. Some buildings were designed so windows could not be opened in order to lessen energy usage.
But sealing a building can have unintended consequences.
For starters, it means that every breath exhaled by employees during long office hours raises carbon dioxide levels in the room which has the potential to cause headaches and drowsiness. It also means that VOCs and PM (volatile organic compounds and particulate matter) from office equipment, industrial processes, and cleaning solvents continuously accumulate in the building.
The Dangers of Poor Indoor Air Quality in Offices
While the health risks of poor outdoor air quality are well-known—air pollution is linked to upper respiratory tract infections, asthma, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — the effects of poor indoor air quality are just as bad, if not worse.
“Studies show that good indoor air quality has a positive effect on people’s productivity,” explains Mark Davidson, Manager of Marketing and Technical Materials at Camfil USA. “They’re more alert. They show better cognitive performance thanks to improved oxygen flow. And they can even gain better general health. This translates into fewer sick days and improved well-being.”
Ventilation with High-Efficiency Air Filters Needed
Natural ventilation with fresh outside air would certainly help to alleviate the problem, but as mentioned, many buildings are not designed with windows that open. Also, many retail or industrial facilities have safety and comfort issues that limit the use of outdoor air. Opening a window would have little impact on air quality in the middle of a large industrial facility or for an interior store in a retail mall.
The role of an HVAC system is to circulate air which has been conditioned (heated or cooled) and filtered in order to provide a comfortable and safe indoor environment. When an HVAC system is outfitted with high-efficiency air filters, the quality of the indoor air can make a noticeable difference to the building’s occupants.
The Cost of Ignoring Indoor Air Quality is Not Just Financial
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution tends to be two to five times worse than outdoor air pollution—at its most extreme, air quality can be up to 100 times worse than open-air environments. This is precisely what makes high-efficiency air filters so important in commercial office buildings, retail spaces and industrial facilities.
The problem of indoor air pollution has become so bad that, according to The Lancet, hundreds of thousands die each year due to poor air quality in workplaces. People can also develop symptoms of “sick building syndrome,” a condition characterized by migraines, breathing problems, and loss of productivity, caused by indoor air pollution exposure.
Choosing Air Filters for Office Spaces
For offices struggling with poor indoor air quality, high-efficiency air filters offer a solution allowing you to maintain the safety and cleanliness of your air, ensuring that workers stay healthy and productive. These filters offer an efficient way to protect employees from breathing in airborne pollutants from indoor sources, such as:
- Raw materials
- Activities such as cooking, heating, and lighting
Work with Trusted Commercial Air Filter Manufacturers
Because no two workplaces are the same, it’s important to procure the appropriate air filter system for your company’s needs. This is where reliable air filter manufacturers come in as they can recommend air filter solutions based on:
- The size of your offices
- The number of employees in these offices
- The type of processes occurring in indoor spaces
Camfil USA has more than 50 years of experience designing and building commercial air filtration systems for a wide range of industries. Talk to our air filtration team to learn more about our office air filter systems, or browse our product line on our website.