We know how polluted the air from the outside world can be, which is why many people take great pains to seal their homes, offices, and business to keep outside air out. While it is true that outdoor air quality is becoming progressively worse each year, especially in urban areas, creating a self-contained bubble can do more harm than good. What people fail to take into account is the quality of air indoors, which can be more harmful than smoke and smog.
One common misconception is air pollution only affects outdoor air quality. Images of factories belching smoke and traffic-choked cities only fuel further our beliefs. However, the air inside our homes and office can be more polluted than the air we breathe outdoors. It’s not exactly a surprise why indoor air quality is a problem. With so many people congregating in a contained space, dust and liquid droplets can build up quickly. Not only is it unhygienic, but it can also pose a public health risk.
If your office has sealed all windows, the only way air will circulate is through air conditioning and circulation ducts. One person infected with a contagious disease comes in, and they could spread the disease through particles spread through the ventilation system. Disinfecting the space with a coronavirus sanitizing service is a good start, but you also need to ensure proper airflow. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Let the air in
One of the best ways to improve to freshen the air is to let natural light and air into a room. Of course, this only works if you have openable windows and if the outdoor air is reasonably clean. Other factors such as altitude, temperature, and humidity might also limit your ability to open windows. But if you can open the windows, you owe it to yourself to do so every chance you get.
The simple act of opening windows ensures a steady flow of fresh air into an indoor space. Natural air pushes pollutants and particulates out of the room, instantly boosting indoor air quality. Natural sunlight also makes a room feel brighter and lighter. Do this at least twice a week to prevent indoor air from becoming stale.
- Clean often
Cleanliness and health go hand in hand and following proper hygiene practices can reduce the number of particulates and pollutants in the room. When cleaning a space, focus on methods that remove dust, mold, and other irritants lurking in tight and hidden spaces. For instance, you need to vacuum rugs and carpet flooring at least twice a week with a HEPA vacuum cleaner. If possible, you might want to replace wall-to-wall carpeting with a regular hard surface to prevent dust and allergen buildup.
You also need to wash curtains or drapes on a regular basis. As a general rule, wash home curtains every 3 months and office curtains once a month. You also might want to invest in hypoallergenic fabric pillow covers.
- Think about plant placement
You need to think about the placement of greenery in an indoor space. While indoor plants are always a great way to freshen up a space, plants also tend to be mold and dust magnets, which can pose a problem for people with allergies. If you want to minimize indoor allergens, place the plants away from areas where people congregate.
However, if allergens aren’t an issue, feel free to fill the space with a variety of indoor plants. It still helps if you choose hypoallergenic varieties. You also have to prepare for the extra cleaning and maintenance involved.
- Invest in an air purification system
If indoor air quality is a problem and you don’t have access to a steady source of clean outdoor air, your next best option is to install an air purification system. Air purifiers are a great way to control the number of particulates in the air and have proven to be an indispensable tool in large cities.
Keep in mind that an air purifier won’t completely remove pollutants from the air, but it will keep the numbers manageable. The bigger the area, the more units you will need. Think about strategic placement for maximum coverage.
Indoor hygiene is a serious concern, which is why we need to take steps to ensure that our homes and offices remain safe for everyone. Failure to act can affect the well-being of your family and coworkers, and increase their risk of health problems.