The EPA states that indoor air quality for commercial buildings is typically worse than the air we breathe outdoors. The phenomenon is bad enough in commercial buildings that it has its own name: sick building syndrome. But even though poor indoor air quality seems to be a fact of life, it doesn’t have to be. Climate Care offers commercial indoor air quality services, from testing to remediation to businesses throughout the Fairfield County area.
How to Test Indoor Air Quality
Unlike science fiction, where you just turn on your tricorder and get an instant reading on the atmosphere, indoor air quality testing in the real world is complex; there’s no such thing as a test; instead, we’re testing for a wide variety of contaminants in the air and on surfaces.
- Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide
- Volatile organic compounds and other degassing byproducts from paint, office equipment, and furnishings
- Fine particulates from dust and dust mites, manufacturing processes, and the decay of building materials
- Airborne asbestos
- Mold, mildew, and other common allergens
- Radon, especially in basement offices and workspaces
- Solvents, resins, and other chemicals
How Often to Assess Indoor Air Quality
As with testing, there’s no single standard for the frequency of IAQ audits. We suggest testing annually, though changes to the building—construction, additions, repairs to infrastructure, and the like—as well as respiratory complaints from employees and clients are a good indication that you should test sooner, or more often.
What Kind of IAQ Guidelines Must My Business Follow?
Just as there’s no single standard for IAQ tests, you may be surprised to learn that indoor air quality standards are not legally mandated for private employers in 48 out of 50 states (the exceptions being New Jersey and California), while Connecticut is one of four states as of this writing that establishes IAQ standards for their states’ public sector employees. Instead, there are guidelines from a number of agencies and organizations, including the EPA, OSHA, ASHRAE, and others (more on this below).
Signs Your Air Quality Needs Improvement
“Sick building syndrome” doesn’t mean your building needs a dose of allergy medication. But you and your employees just might. The EPA lists a number of common signs of poor IAQ. These include, but are not limited to, headaches, runny nose or nosebleeds, fatigue, complaints of unusual odors, disorientation or difficulty concentrating, dizziness, nausea, and irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat.
These can all have other causes, but if you notice these symptoms easing as soon as you leave the building, it’s a safe bet that your indoor air is to blame. Indoor air quality testing eliminates the guesswork so you can move on to solutions.
Air Quality Solutions for Commercial Buildings in Norwalk
Speaking of solutions, what can you do? There are two distinct tracks here, one involving you and your employees, and the other involving HVAC professionals. When it comes to maintaining good IAQ, make sure that air vents and grilles remain unobstructed, don’t allow smoking indoors, clean water spills and address leaks promptly, and address any problems with the structure and ventilation with your landlord or property manager immediately.
When it comes to getting outside help, Climate Care offers a number of solutions. These include air filtration and air cleaning systems, HVAC equipment maintenance, duct cleaning, and a number of other measures that help keep indoor air safe and breathable year-round.
Get in Touch with Lennox Dealers in Fairfield County
Another reason to contact Climate Care? We have extensive experience addressing Fairfield County businesses’ indoor air quality concerns, backed by the trusted equipment and solutions of Lennox, one of the most trusted names in the industry. For help with your indoor comfort and IAQ needs, get in touch today.
Indoor air quality guides and guidance are available from ASHRAE and the AIA, the EPA, OSHA, and the State of Connecticut.