Improve IAQ Wherever You Go
While you may have taken steps to improve your IAQ at home, you might wonder how you can enhance the air quality in other spaces you visit: the office, school, or even the gym. Unfortunately, most of us don't have access to a central HVAC system where we work, learn, and work out. Nevertheless, here are some tips to improve IAQ in those spaces to give you better peace of mind.
Indoor Air Differs in a Commercial Building
Large buildings such as gyms and office buildings tend to be larger and have more areas for dust to accumulate. Because of this, these buildings tend to have robust air filtration systems, fewer doors with access to the outdoors, and windows that cannot be opened or cracked. While the idea of natural ventilation is nice, functioning windows and extra doors also run the risk of allowing dust and pollution into a space.
Like your home, dust, bacteria, mold, and virus particles are a threat in the office. In these environments, people, furniture, flooring, office machines, and even well-intentioned cleaning efforts can release harmful particles into the air. Keep your workspace clean and wipe down dusty surfaces where you encounter them. Limit plastic use in office kitchens when you warm food, and take care not to block vents. If you come across something unsafe or concerning, contact your maintenance or building staff, so they can assist in resolving the issue.
Clean Air in the Classroom
Similar to the office, schools are large spaces that usually do not have windows that open. Schools are unique in that students, faculty, and staff create a lot of foot traffic from classroom to classroom at regular intervals. This commotion makes controlling dust, dirt, and other harmful particles more difficult. In addition to airborne particles, the people in a school carry particles on their clothing, backpacks and bags, and shoes. If you're lucky enough to have windows that open in your school building, it is a good idea to crack them open when the weather is mild. Whether or not the windows can be opened, you can use fans and open doorways to create breezeways and allow air to circulate.
Dorms and Apartments
Maintaining good IAQ in small living spaces like dorms and apartments can be tricky. Particles can stack up more quickly in confined spaces, and you may not be able to change your air filter. Having a fan on hand may help, and you can also prop patio doors open to create ventilation. If you're moving or planning to move soon, make sure that you can open windows in your new space. Heating and cooling in these spaces can cause air to be too dry or too humid, which has a negative impact on air quality. While dorm living might be temporary, four to five years can create long-term health damage if air quality is lacking.
With these tips and suggestions, you are better prepared to breathe easy anywhere you go.