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The Benefits of Optimizing Indoor Air Quality in the Workplace

 

Provide a healthful indoor environment while reducing energy costs

In general, the better people physically feel, the happier and more motivated they will be. Walking into a workplace that smells old and musty or one that triggers allergies is not going to create the most positive attitude among employees. However, the implementation of a strategic Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) plan utilizing a combination of air filtration, ultraviolet (UV) light and photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) can greatly improve employee outlook and sense of well being, without breaking the bank. In fact the return on investment can be amazingly short.

 

Air Filtration

Many allergy triggers – like dust, mold and pollen – can be dramatically reduced when using quality air filters. Integrated into HVAC, air filters capture dust, pollen and large mold spores that enter the air handler, preventing them from returning to the workspace. This can reduce the severity of allergy symptoms employees may experience.

Quality filtration also lowers HVAC maintenance and energy costs. As air travels through ductwork, it can deposit the dust, mold and pollen particles, which creates buildup and requires professional cleaning. Filters dramatically reduce the potential build up of dirt and debris, which results in fewer maintenance visits. Filters save energy simply because a clean HVAC system runs more efficiently.

 

Ultraviolet Light Treatment

When employees come to work sick they introduce germs into the office airflow. Some germs will be distributed office-wide via the HVAC system, contributing to the spread of office illness. The application of ultraviolet (UV) light in the air handler can help reduce this distribution. When passed through UV light a microbe’s DNA is disrupted, rendering it harmless. UV disinfects the circulating air, reducing airborne illness-causing bacteria and viruses.

HVAC systems are also prone to mold growth on interior surfaces due to the naturally wet surfaces inside the equipment. If the system is generating allergens, then the IAQ problem is exacerbated. The installation of UV lights in the air handler not only prevents mold growth and therefore allergen generation, it keeps unwanted biogrowth from clogging the cooling coil. UV keeps contamination under control, but also can virtually eliminate expensive, environmentally un-friendly coil cleanings.

 

Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) and Odor Reduction

Office air can be polluted with other undesirable substances. Among the most common are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are gases that are released by certain solids or liquids at room temperature. The odors resulting from this process can be irritating and some are detrimental to your health. New carpeting, fresh paint, or even the smell of hot copier toner and everyday solvents can cause respiratory distress for some people. There are hundreds of VOC odors that can potential exist in an office environment.

Photocatalytic oxidation is a relatively new air purification process that specifically addresses VOCs and serves as an airstream disinfectant as well. The system includes a titanium dioxide coated grid energized by UV light. It creates a very effective oxidation process that breaks down VOC molecules into CO2 and water vapor. It is even powerful enough to break down cigarette smoke.

 

Everybody Benefits

It is easy to see how creating an indoor air quality strategy could be a win-win situation for both a business and the people who work there.  It goes without saying that happy, well taken care of and respected employees tend to do a better job. So think about your office. Would you benefit from better IAQ?

 

To learn more about Ultravation professional IAQ products, visit our website: www.ultravation.com

 

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