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Is the air in your commercial office building or warehouse old and stale? While you may not think much about the indoor air quality inside commercial spaces, it can have a big impact on the health and productivity of your employees.

As more employees and customers return to commercial and office settings after staying home during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a closer eye than ever before has been placed on the air we breathe indoors. Poor indoor air quality in commercial settings can lead to a health issue called “sick building syndrome,” where workers and customers experience comfort and health problems that can be tied directly to the time spent inside the building.

Improving the quality of your commercial building’s indoor air should be a top priority for business owners and building managers. In our most recent blog, the heating, cooling, and indoor air quality experts at Star discuss some ways to improve the ventilation in your building for a healthier indoor environment.

What is Sick Building Syndrome?

Although the precise cause of sick building syndrome is unknown, it’s linked to time spent inside a building or an area of the building and is attributed to poor indoor air quality. This can often occur because of poor ventilation.

Some people only experience health issues when they’re inside the building. Just a few of the possible symptoms caused by sick building syndrome include headaches, runny nose, dizziness, fatigue, breathing difficulties and tightness in the chest. People with allergies and asthma might notice more severe reactions.

If this is the case, it’s highly likely that the building you work in has sick building syndrome.

According to Environmental Protection Agency, some of the causes of sick building syndrome include:

  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Chemical contaminants from indoor sources, including volatile organic compounds.
  • Chemical contaminants from outdoor air, including pollutants from motor vehicle exhausts, plumbing vents, and building exhausts.
  • Biological contaminants such as models, pollen, bacteria, and viruses.

How to Improve Ventilation in Commercial Buildings

Fortunately, there are several ways to improve the ventilation inside commercial buildings, including:

Exhaust fans

Having exhaust fans installed in all commercial bathrooms and kitchens is a great way to improve ventilation. In the bathroom, exhaust fans work to remove moisture from the air and funnel out bathroom odors for improved ventilation and indoor air quality. They can also reduce fumes from cleaning products when used in bathrooms. If your commercial building has a kitchen, a properly functioning hood or range fan is important. Kitchen exhaust fans remove fumes, heat, grease, and smoke from cooking.

Over time, exhaust fans wear out and stop working properly. If you need exhaust fan repairs or replacement, contact Star Heating & Cooling today.

Make-up Air Units (MUA)

If your commercial building requires a greater need for proper ventilation, consider having a make-up air unit installed. Make-up air units pull in fresh air from outside to “make up” for the loss of air that has been removed by exhaust fans.

MUA units improve a building’s indoor air quality by pumping in fresh outdoor air to dilute or completely remove airborne contaminants and pollutants. With the installation of an MUA unit, you can ensure your building doesn’t get sick building syndrome while promoting a healthier indoor environment for employees and customers.

Fans

Industrial fans in commercial settings are another way to improve a building’s ventilation, especially in facilities that use heavy machinery or equipment. Commercial fans can redistribute air throughout the facility by pushing cold air up and bringing hot air down in the winter and doing the reverse in the summer. This will keep workers and customers more comfortable, healthier, and productive.

Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)

The installation of a commercial energy recovery ventilator system is another effective way to increase your commercial building’s ventilation while working to lower heating and cooling costs. ERVs work by drawing in fresh air from the outside and exhausting stale air from indoors to the outside for improved indoor air quality.

Contact Star to Improve Your Building’s Ventilation

If you’re ready to improve the ventilation in your commercial building, contact the heating and air conditioning professionals at Star today. We are proud to offer a variety of commercial ventilation systems from leading manufacturers such as Greenheck, Loren Cook Company, and RenewAire. Give us a call today, or contact us online to book an appointment.

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