We’ve all experienced that mid-afternoon slump at work: you know that sluggish feeling you get when your energy levels dip and you find it difficult to get things done?
Before you reach for a sugary pick-me-up snack, turn your attention to the air conditioning system – it could just be the reason you’re unable to focus on the task at hand.
Is the air I’m breathing making me feel tired?
Health authorities monitor the outside air quality daily and they diligently issue a public health alert when the quality index hits poor and even hazardous levels. But who is monitoring the quality of air we breathe indoors? The air inside also contains significant pollutants that can impact our health. In fact, poor indoor air quality has been linked to headaches and fatigue and can even impair our ability to concentrate.
Did you know they even coined a phrase “sick building syndrome” for when a person experiences symptoms attributed to poor indoor air quality? Symptoms like headaches or drowsiness, sore throat or irritated skin can all be caused by an air conditioning system that hasn’t been well maintained, regularly checked or cleaned.
HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) systems are not just designed to heat and cool the environment we’re in. The filters are intended to rid the air we breathe of allergens like dust, mould, pollen and bacteria which can trigger adverse health reactions. If the filters are not cleaned or replaced, the allergens will continue to build up in the duct and pass through the ventilation system into the indoor air we breathe.
Here’s some food for thought
Like any enclosed environment, workplaces are a hotbed for germs and bacteria. Air conditioning filters can help capture airborne pathogens that cause viruses. The key, however, is to run a clean air conditioning system to help maintain good air quality – and a healthier workplace environment.
It’s simple: The better the air quality, the healthier the employees. The healthier the employees, the fewer sick days they will have and the more productive they will be.
Diligent maintenance: the simple solution to achieve optimum air conditioning health
If good ventilation is the key to a cleaner (and more productive) workplace, then how do we ensure the HVAC system is being used correctly? Routine maintenance is essential.
Regular inspections and consistently scheduled maintenance services are the first line of defence against poor indoor air quality and safeguarding the health of employees.
Maintenance includes assessing and replacing air filters so that we are breathing cleaner air. It also includes inspecting and cleaning other integral components (duct system, coils, fans, compressors) which ensure the system runs effectively and efficiently – saving energy costs and circumventing expensive repairs.