Indoor Air Quality Month is here again, and it’s a reminder that your facility’s surfaces and objects can serve as breeding grounds for microscopic particles, dust, and allergens, posing several health risks to you and your people. Improving indoor air quality transcends and facilitates your regular surface cleaning routine. As we mark the celebration, this article discusses how to improve indoor air quality with a comprehensive cleaning service.
Why You Should Celebrate Indoor Air Quality Month
Indoor Air Quality Month is celebrated in the month of October. This celebration educates and enlightens people on the importance of the purity of air they breathe in their indoor spaces. Through campaign programs, media publicity, and other communication channels, people are informed of the risk of poor indoor air quality, its impact on their health, and the necessary precautions to apply. Here is why you should celebrate this themed month too:
- Improves Health and Well-Being: Some health issues, like allergies, respiratory problems, and death, are associated with poor air quality. According to the World Health Organization, household air pollution was responsible for about 3.2 million deaths in 2020, of which 237,000 were children under five years old. Celebrating Air Quality Month creates awareness of the health risks from polluted air and how to combat them. It calls for everyone to keep their spaces clear of dust, mold, bacteria, viruses, and other threats.
- Energy Efficiency: The celebration brings a level of indoor air quality consciousness that is essential in driving people to take proactive steps to improve the sources of air in their properties. It’s common for people to inspect heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for leaks and poor performance, making them energy efficient. This can help you reduce energy waste and save on utility bills.
- Environmental and Communal Impact: Indoor Air Quality Month unifies individuals, families, and the community to achieve a common goal. Applying practices that reduce indoor pollutants can, in turn, foster a greener lifestyle. The campaign is so powerful that people have resorted to eco-friendly ventilation systems, reducing their carbon footprint.
Reasons Why Improving Indoor Air Quality Is Important
Many people spend most of their day indoors—in classrooms, retail stores, offices, and at home—especially with the rise of remote work since the COVID-19 pandemic. So, ensuring that the air in these spaces is not contaminated is crucial. Below are other reasons why improving indoor air quality is important.
1. Greater Health and Respiratory Well-Being
Some indoor pollutants, such as fine particulate matter, have been linked to cardiovascular problems, which are often fatal. Hiring a commercial cleaning company to improve indoor air quality can reduce the likelihood of these problems and other respiratory issues, such as asthma and heart-related diseases.
2. Enhanced Cognitive Function
Sick building syndrome, which can cause issues like headaches, difficulty concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, can also be linked to poor ventilation and indoor pollutants. A tangible investment of time and other resources towards improving indoor air quality can enhance your cognitive function, create a conducive atmosphere for learning, and encourage productivity.
3. Better Sleep
One immediate reward of working on indoor air quality is a more rejuvenating sleep experience for your well-being and health. This is important because sleep deficiency is linked to a higher chance of injury in adults, teens, and children. Also, most people find it hard to sleep in poorly ventilated places, leading to stress and gradual insomnia.
4. Environmental Sustainability
When you adopt practices that improve air quality, such as using energy-efficient HVAC systems and choosing eco-friendly cleaning products, you contribute to a sustainable future in your environment while improving the air you breathe. This can promote productivity in the workplace and comfort in the home. The good news is that more commercial cleaning services are already pivoting toward green cleaning. So, they understand all the best practices to make your environment sustainable.
Comprehensive Cleaning Services That Can Help You Improve the Air Quality in Your Facility
- Dust and Debris Cleaning: Hiring commercial cleaning services for regular dusting and vacuuming exercises will prevent the accumulation of pathogens, allergens, and irritant-carrying particles and debris that contribute to poor air quality. Both activities are especially important in high-traffic areas and spaces with many furnishings.
- Air Duct Cleaning: Most HVAC systems can harbor dust, mold, and bacteria. Professional cleaners have substantial experience with cleaning procedures like disinfecting ducts, coils, filters, and other components. This helps maintain proper airflow and prevents the circulation of contaminants in your facility.
- Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning: Carpets and upholstery can often trap allergens, dust mites, and pollutants. Hiring a commercial cleaning company that utilizes steam cleaning can effectively remove these particles and eliminate odors, contributing to cleaner indoor air.
- Surface Disinfection and Cleaning: Regular disinfection of surfaces using appropriate cleaning agents reduces the spread of germs and viruses that can affect air quality. So, paying attention to frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, and handles is crucial.
5 Tips for Improving Your Indoor Air Quality
These tips will help you improve air quality inside your facility and keep you safe from air pollution-related diseases:
1. Invest in High-Quality Air Filters
Air filters help to trap and collect airborne particles, dust, pollen, and pet dander. They are also designed to manage odors, chemical substances, and other gaseous exchanges released into the atmosphere. This can help prevent both seen and unseen microorganisms that build up on surfaces and home appliances. Think of air filters as a two-way investment that helps to improve the air quality in your indoor space and saves you from unnecessary costs in the long run.
2. Vacuum Frequently and Thoroughly
Vacuum cleaners with high-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA filters) are so reliable that they can capture some of the tiniest particles on your surfaces. Hence, getting a commercial cleaning service to perform regular and thorough vacuuming will help to expel germs that can trigger asthma and other respiratory challenges.
3. Regularly Maintain Your HVAC System
HVAC systems play a major role in circulating and conditioning the air you inhale, especially in a confined space. Issues like a clogged air filter from dust, mold, and particles in your HVAC system can exacerbate the spread of diseases, poor ventilation, and the breakdown of these appliances. This means that regular checks will improve the lifespan of your systems and the circulation of clean air to improve air quality.
4. Use Chemical-Free Cleaning Products
When deciding on a cleaning product, keep in mind that certain options contain unhealthy chemicals that can release VOCs, promoting indoor pollution. This can cause health issues for pets, adults, and children. That is why it is important to go for adaptable green cleaning products that can be used for multiple chores while improving the quality of air you inhale. Also, it’s advisable to hire a commercial cleaning company that shares the same eco-friendly vision as you.
5. Consider Investing in an Air Purifier or Dehumidifier
Investing in both devices is a plus for your facility. Activities like showering, cooking, and bathing can significantly increase the humidity in your home. Simply having lots of people in a closed environment breathing in and out is enough to drive the humidity up.
The downside of high humidity in enclosed areas is that they become a breeding ground for mildew, mold, and other fungi. That is in addition to the foul air and the damage it can cause to your furniture, walls, books, and artistic works. Investing in dehumidifiers will help to reduce water or moisture in the air to a safe level.
Air humidifiers can be beneficial to people suffering from allergies or other respiratory issues as they help to eradicate fumes, dust, chemical substances, smoke, and other pollutants that can trigger a negative reaction.
We can summarize all the tips discussed above on how to improve indoor air quality into three major categories:
1. Source Control
As the name implies, source control means dealing with the emissions of these pollutants from their roots before they get into the air, such as by using natural gas, proper waste disposal, cleanliness protocols, and more. Source control methods are often achieved on both an individual and communal basis.
For example, the government can impose rules on vehicles, facilities, industries, and other bodies to limit air pollution. However, strict adherence to these guidelines by individuals and communities is most important. Fewer indoor pollutants will result in an improvement in the general quality of the air that circulates.
On an individual basis, one instance of source control is the cooking burners in your kitchen. You can install a heat extractor over them to take away the heat, moisture, and smoke from your burners. This is different from ventilation because air only goes out without coming in through the extractor.
Ventilation is simply the exchange of air. It involves expelling air from an indoor space and replacing it with clean air from outside. It helps to expel smells, contaminants, and other pollutants by allowing for proper distribution of airflow.
In most cases, natural ventilation largely depends on climate, building structure, and, as a result, human actions. However, mechanical ventilation strategies can be employed for maximum results. These mechanical strategies include fans and air conditioners that can help improve air quality.
3. Air Purification
Air purification uses a device to eliminate contaminants in the air, primarily in enclosed spaces. This filter captures tiny dust, pollen, and pet dander particles. Electronic air cleaners, ozone generators, UV-C germicidal lamps, and activated carbon filters can also help to eliminate bacteria, odors, and pollutants while improving the air quality of your indoor space. For best results, you can employ the services of a commercial cleaning company that understands these devices and how to maximize their use.
Commercial cleaning companies like Georgia Facility Services are seasoned experts in cleaning procedures that can impact your well-being positively. The certified and licensed Georgia Facility Services team boasts well-trained professionals who can effectively implement all the cleaning strategies and tips discussed in this article to boost indoor air quality.
Whether you need services for your retail store, office, school, hospitality center, medical office, or industrial complex, you can rest assured that Georgia Facility Services is up to the task and flexible enough to work with your schedule. Contact us now to get started and enjoy the numerous benefits of a clean environment during this Indoor Air Quality Month and beyond.