3 Key Practices for Maintaining IAQ in Facilities
Having clean indoor air is a necessity for any facility looking to appeal to employees, customers or tenants. Accomplishing this however, requires facility cleaning managers to have a keen awareness on every aspect related to indoor air quality (IAQ). Whether it’s a fully-functioning HVAC system, adopting the correct air purification filters, or outlining best practices for occupants when it comes to ventilation, quality air can fall to the wayside if one of the boxes is left unchecked.
To help facilities get on the right foot with establishing a successful IAQ improvement plan, Alan Wozniak, founder of Business Health Matters, outlined several important steps to take in a recent byline for Newsweek.
Inspect HVAC Zones
Before anything else, Wozniak recommends facility managers develop a blueprint for how the building will product clean air. Common steps involving this include third-party consultants or inspectors to check the quality of the HVAC system to determine if upgrades or overhaul is necessary. Over time, these inspections should be done on a routine basis as it serves as the foundation for an IAQ initiative.
Active Ventilation Efforts
Occupants themselves can contribute to a facility’s IAQ by opening windows when possible, and facility management can also assist with the cause by installing exhaust fans in critical rooms for maintaining air quality, including kitchens and restrooms. Additionally, air pollutants are often originated from areas of excess moisture in buildings — and identifying/eliminating those culprits ties back to the original importance of a reliable HVAC system.
Utilize HEPA Filtration
As noted by Wozniak, recent studies indicate that the use of HEPA filtration can significantly diminish the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in facilities. In one instance, newly-infected COVID-19 patients spent 24 hours each in two different rooms — one with a HEPA filter and the other without. After collecting RNA from both rooms, the HEPA-equipped room totaled roughly half as much SARAS-CoV02 RNA compared to the room without the filter.
For related coverage, check out this piece from green cleaning advocate Steve Ashkin highlighting four key benefits on IAQ.