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What can pollute office air quality and how to fix it

May 10, 2021 – 5 Min

How to cut costs, raise efficiency, and improve the bottom line, by acing indoor air quality in offices.

Indoor air purification and its measurement goes hand in hand. Rensair, a portable hospital-grade air purifier that uses an H13 HEPA filter and UVC light to capture and destroy airborne pollutants, has partnered with Airthings for Business, experts in measuring indoor air quality solutions, to help businesses control the quality of their indoor air.

As a result of the global pandemic, virtually every sector of the economy has businesses under serious pressure to streamline their operations in order to survive and compete. 

When you’re devising ways to cut costs, maximize efficiency, and boost profit margins in your company, you might not think about monitoring and improving indoor air quality. But the data from indoor air quality monitors offers a shortcut to lower energy costs, more productive and healthier staff, and better use of space.

These benefits can help you get the very most out of your workspace, at a time of unprecedented challenges for many office managers.

Maximizing occupancy and energy usage

In spaces where people are working, high concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2)  can build up if the air is not ventilated properly. Studies show that employees’ cognitive function is 50% worse in a high CO2 environment.

CO2 isn’t just important because it affects how employees perform; it also provides data on how effectively you are using space in your office.

We all emit this gas when we breathe out, so in conjunction with other air quality metrics, in tightly enclosed meeting rooms, school rooms or workplaces, high CO2 levels could indicate that there are too many people in a room with poor ventilation. You can then use this data to improve wellbeing, cut costs and maximize efficiency.

Energy costs

Substantial savings can be realised by matching energy consumption to how many people are in the office. Heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and other services like portable air purifiers, can be set up to trigger only when and where they are needed. 

Scientists at the University of Alberta calculated that businesses can save between 20-40% of their HVAC and lighting costs by acquiring a source of good quality occupancy data and using it to control power consumption.

Efficient use of space

Occupancy data allows you to identify if rooms are being overused, or if they’re sitting empty. 

The data may even show that you have more space than you need.

Particulate Matter (PM) in the workplace 

PM exposure, amongst others caused by emissions and industrial processes, is an important source of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. As these particles can become trapped indoors, especially with HVAC units bringing the ‘fresh’ air in from outside in, monitoring is vital. 

Using a portable air purification system that can remove PMs and work in conjunction with your HVAC system is an excellent way to control PM in the workplace.

Matching services to need

Are your cleaning and maintenance services deployed to match actual usage patterns in different parts of the office? 

You could potentially reduce the time and work you pay for by arranging schedules better. Or your food service facility might be overproducing food, rather than reacting to the number of people in the building each day, offering another opportunity for savings.

Humidity in the workplace 

As they focus their attention on viruses, researchers are gaining a clearer understanding of how low humidity helps to spread infectious diseases. 

The Centre of Disease Control and Prevention found that 70–77% of flu virus particles could still cause an infection one hour after a person coughed, when the humidity is only 23%. When humidity was raised to 43%, the percentage of infectious particles was reduced to 14%.

When humidity is too high, on the other hand, mold can grow in your office, which not only looks unsightly and unprofessional, but also triggers allergies and eczema.

Indoor air in the workplace is improved by mitigating virus particles when humidity is low and mold when humility is high. In independent tests, leading laboratories have proven that Rensair removes 99.7% of airborne viruses, mold spores and other airborne pollutants using H13 HEPA filters and ozone-free UVC light, making its use effective for both concerns. 

Maintaining 30-60% humidity levels is recommended for the healthiest environment.

Temperature in the workplace 

The office temperature, either too hot or too cold, is a common complaint among employees. These conditions affect how well your employees feel and how efficiently they work. Studies suggest that 22-25°C (71.6-77°F) is the ideal range for productivity, with concentration and performance suffering at both high and low extremes of temperature.

Radon in the workplace

Radon is a radioactive gas that seeps into buildings through cracks in the foundations and is the second leading cause of lung cancer. It is emitted naturally when uranium breaks down in the rock and soil beneath buildings. In workplaces radon can be an occupational health risk.

Airborne chemicals (VOCs) in the workplace

Airborne chemicals, (VOCs), are emitted by many paints, cleaning products, office supplies, furniture, carpets, polishes, and varnishes. They are known to irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness, and aggravate asthma and other respiratory complaints.

The solution

Each office is different, as numerous local factors can impact air quality. To ensure indoor air quality in the workplace is optimal, you need a reliable source of information, so you can identify where issues exist and put them right. By monitoring the air in your workplace, you can ensure the health and wellbeing of employees are prioritised and make validated decisions. High levels? Air purifiers, like Rensair, that are equipped to capture and destroy pathogens can help with that. Airthings can help you continue monitoring air quality. This data allows you to see the impact quality air purifiers can have on your indoor environment and you can show the results to your stakeholders. 


About Airthings for Business
Airthings is a global technology company that develops and manufactures solutions for businesses, consumers, and radon professionals. Founded in 2008, Airthings is on a mission to ensure that people around the world recognize the impact of air quality and make radon and indoor air quality sensors an essential element of every building. Airthings is committed to helping businesses use digital technology to optimize their indoor air quality. This promotes a healthier environment, increases workplace productivity, and reduces energy spend. The Airthings for Business solution is easy to set up and works in any new or existing space. For more information visit
airthings.com/business.

air cleaning devices air quality airborne pollutants clean air energy usage particulate matter

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