Indoor Air Quality and Your Tenants: How often should your HVAC system be inspected?
Your HVAC system keeps your building, and your tenants, comfortable in all kinds of weather and conditions. While heating and cooling is the primary role of your commercial HVAC system, it also has a significant impact on the indoor air quality of your building and individual offices. According to OSHA, the indoor air quality (IAQ) of your building impacts the health and wellbeing of the people who work there.
Poor air quality can lead to an increase in sick days, allergies and exposure to illness -- so employees work less, feel worse and are more likely to miss entire days due to illness. According to researchers at Berkeley, air conditioners are increasingly linked to Sick Building Syndrome, which causes a variety of respiratory concerns in office workers.
What Factors Impact Indoor Air Quality?
While your HVAC system is not the only potential culprit when it comes to poor indoor air quality, it can be a contributing factor. Since your system moves air through the building, it can also transfer spores, dust, dander and allergens the same way. Regular maintenance can help prevent indoor air problems and ensure your building stays healthy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, factors that could contribute to your indoor air quality include:
- Building maintenance and cleanliness (the presence of dust and debris lowers indoor air quality).
- Recent renovations or repairs, that could introduce dust, particles and other debris into the air.
- Painting, new furniture or new textiles, which can release formaldehyde and other chemicals into the air.
- Little or no fresh air allowed in building.
- High humidity or moisture -- that can contribute to mold growth.
- Employees who come to the office sick and spread germs.
- Poor attention to office cleaning and surface cleaning.
- Pest control products and services.
Regular Inspections Keep Your HVAC and Your Team Healthy
If you can't remember the last time your HVAC was inspected, or if it was over a year ago, you are at an increased risk of experiencing poor indoor air quality. Because your HVAC circulates air throughout the building during the cooling or heating process, it can also distribute other elements, including dust, debris and other allergens. When your equipment is inspected, your technician cleans the unit, ensures it is operating properly and addresses any suspect conditions that could trigger indoor air quality complaints. Left uninspected and unmaintained, a commercial HVAC unit can have a negative impact on your tenants and team, and lead to drops in morale, missed days of work and other common issues.
Protect your Indoor Air Quality by Maintaining your HVAC System
Committing to regular inspections and maintenance for your commercial heating and cooling equipment not only ensures these critical pieces operate efficiently, it also protects your indoor air quality and helps keep your tenants healthy. It is recommended that you have your commercial HVAC system inspected and maintained twice per year. This approach ensures that your indoor air quality is not impacted by your HVAC unit and that your tenants and office workers feel comfortable, no matter what the weather is like outside.
Click here for a list of BOMA/GLA Indoor Air Quality Specialists and HVAC service providers.