Beyond the Products

The Importance of Managing Indoor Air Quality: A Starting Place
on March 1 2024, 2:25 am

    One of the most concerning questions that can cross the mind of any occupant of a public building is “What is that smell?”. A few thoughts can immediately pass- is that gas? Is that smoke? Am I in danger? For the managers of any facility, committing to monitoring indoor air quality in any public space is the first step in maintaining optimal levels.

    “…using air quality monitoring devices can provide more precise measurements of pollutants in the air” according to Fellowes, a leading manufacturer of indoor air quality systems namely the Array line of purifiers, sensors, and monitoring systems. “Not only is it important to put monitoring devices (such as air purifiers, air quality monitors, and everyday ventilation) into practice, but it is important for facility managers to oversee that process. 

    Fellowes notes that different public buildings have different needs. For example, in a warehouse, “large open spaces [like warehouses] may benefit from commercial grade purification and monitoring systems capable of handling high volumes of air and filtering out dust particles and potentially harmful chemicals found in industrial environments”. Meanwhile, “Offices may require air purifiers that focus on removing common indoor pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from off gassing of office furniture and equipment, as well as airborne particles from printers and copiers. Restrooms and breakrooms can also benefit from air purifiers given their high occupancy and odors. Activated carbon filters can help in such environments.” Schools and hospitals also require varying types of air purification systems and filters that can mitigate allergens, pollutants, airborne viruses, and airborne pathogens alike. 

    Once these systems are in place, there is also a recommended protocol of maintenance according to Fellowes. The following four steps come after installation of the recommended system:

    1. Monitoring: Employ high-quality commercial-grade air quality monitoring devices to continuously monitor indoor air quality parameters such as particulate matter, VOCs, carbon dioxide levels and humidity”
    2. Education and awareness: Educate building occupants about the importance of indoor air quality and provide guidance on best practices that contribute to maintaining good air quality. Provide visibility to indoor air quality metrics through community dashboards.”
    3. Source control: According to the EPA, the top recommendation for improving and maintaining indoor air quality is to eliminate or reduce emissions from common indoor pollution sources. This can be as simple as sectioning off office equipment such as printers and photocopiers, implementing smoking bans, and controlling emissions from cleaning products and other sources”
    4. Response plan: Develop a plan to respond promptly to any indoor air quality concerns or complaints raised by building occupants and take corrective action.”

    Opening the windows not seem like enough after this read? If your facility’s indoor air quality needs some upgrading/revision, contact Spruce today to get in touch with an account representative that will connect you with the best Fellowes Array systems on the market.

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