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October 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Cleaning Tips and Tricks, Environmental Quality, USGBC

5 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Are you concerned about the quality of the air you breathe? 

Would you like to improve the indoor air quality in your building?

In this article we will discuss 5 ways to improve the indoor air quality of your building that will benefit the occupants, visitors and staff.

#1 HEPA Filtered Vacuums

HEPA Filters are composed of a mat of randomly and finely arranged fibers. Designed to capture 99.97% of airborne particles. Great for allergy season!

Dust mites, mold spores, pollen and pet dander (for those who bring pets to work) in the air inside your office or work space can result in poor indoor air quality leading to allergies or even asthma. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air and is used in high efficiency vacuums designed to capture and remove extremely small pollutants and particles by utilizing three mechanisms (as shown in image on right). HEPA filters capture at least 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter or larger that enter into the filter (dust mites range from 2-10 microns in size).  

By utilizing a HEPA filtered vacuum on a frequent basis, dust particles, pollen, etc. are captured before they enter into the air we breathe. Also, HEPA filtered vacuums are great for carpets and hard floors in order to capture maximum amount of particles. 

#2 Microfiber Tools

 Microfiber tools to remove and capture dust and other allergens is designed to remove 99.7% of particles vs. cotton fibers that are designed to remove 33% of particles.Microfiber is a material that is made of synthetic fibers that attract dirt, bacteria, and other pathogens like a magnet. 1 Microfiber tools are made to attract and capture up to 99% of dirt, bacteria and other pathogens, while cotton fiber tools are made to attract 30%- basically moving bacteria from surface to surface. Therefore, the use of microfiber cloths, mops, and other microfiber tools allow for the removal of bacteria, dirt and allergens. 

You can use the following microfiber tools to improve indoor air quality:

  • Dust wand for blinds, plants, fans, ceiling corners, wall art and other hard to reach areas
  • Cloths for furniture (i.e. desks, conference tables, chairs, coffee tables), equipment (i.e. computer monitors, computer towers, printers)
  • Dry mops for floor care 

#3 Green, Non-Ammoniated Cleaners

Use of green, non-ammoniated cleaners that contain no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) can dramatically improve indoor air quality. In addition, non-ammoniated cleaners are fragrance-free and non-toxic resulting in decreased allergic reactions as well as eliminating the chances of chemical burns and/or reactions. 

#4 Entry Mats

commercial entry mats, commercial door mats, entry way mats

Simple in nature and functional by design, entrance mats halt dirt and grime at the door. Without mats, dirt is tracked into the building which can then lead to scratches, damage to your floors, and eventually ends up embedded in your carpet. With foot traffic, this dirt is then agitated and spreads as dust throughout your property where it settles into air ducts and everywhere else (including the blinds of your largest tenant!). 2 The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) recommend using matting of at least 10 to 15 feet, to capture as much as 85 to 95 percent of contaminants!  

#5 Live Plants

Indoor_plant to improve indoor air quality

Use the power of nature to help improve indoor air quality- buy some plants! Plants remove toxins from the air and can actually thrive on substances that may be harmful to people. Plants act as a natural filter in your office or work space, just remember to water them and keep them well maintained. 

  

 References:

1 http://www.epa.gov/region9/waste/p2/projects/hospital/mops.pdf

http://www.d2bny.com/GreenBuildingDocument.pdf

 

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