Although most air duct systems in buildings cannot be seen with the naked eye, they are an integral part of a structure and employees’ well being. More often than not, employers overlook the need for commercial duct cleaning, and only when they have a problem or complaint do they look into the option for improving their air quality needs. Choosing to maintain your system with a routine commercial duct cleaning process can lead to better employee productivity as well as profitability for the entire company.
Employees’ Health and Costs
As one can imagine, the filters within the ductwork cannot trap all the toxins and pollens lingering in the air and ventilation system. The EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) estimates indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. This is a average assessment of indoor versus outdoor air; however, in a commercial space where there are a plethora of employees in one area, the risks are even higher.
Poor indoor air quality can lead to frequent colds, asthma, allergies, and chronic fatigue. More importantly, it can translate to decreased employee productivity and increased sick/down time. According to the American Lung Association, poor indoor air quality is the major cause of days lost from work and school.
Some employees are aware of these air quality risks and may even complain to employers regarding black spots, dust, or debris build up on their desks coming from the ventilation system. Once a worker begins to link their health issues to your office space, employees can now bring in the issue of “worker’s compensation.” OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) estimates that poor indoor air costs employers $15 billion annually due to worker inefficiency and sick leave.
In a series of studies at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL), they examined typing speed and accuracy, as well as additional proofreading error rate with and without a section of 20-year-old carpet present in the room. The carpet, which was known to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), was hidden from the subjects (VOCs, including formaldehyde and toluene, can also be found in products like floor and wall coverings, paints, furniture, and printers and copiers). Results showed a 4 percent improvement in speed and accuracy when the carpet was absent. A similar study found a ten percent improvement in call center talk times when additional fresh air ventilation was provided.
Research shows that 90% of total operating costs of a commercial office building goes into the salaries of the people working inside it. A simple precaution to improve the ventilation, such as commercial duct cleaning, can yield substantial profitability.
An employer is responsible for providing a safe and healthy work environment for his/her employees. Strive to be proactive instead of reactive. Why wait until you have a problem when you can take the preventative measures to avoid liabilities and potential fiscal and health risks now?
Be sure to look into a NADCA certified company like Airtek Indoor Air Solutions when considering your next improvement for better indoor air quality and commercial duct cleaning at your business.