Breathing quality air is critical for good health no matter what the circumstance, but especially now with the concerns of COVID-19. We take around 20,000 breaths per day and spend around 90% of our time inside, which has since increased due to the virus. Even before COVID, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), quality of indoor air is about two to five times more contaminated than outdoor air quality. So it’s not surprising that Americans are worried about their health and safety when returning to work, especially the cleanliness of indoor air at their workplace, according to a recent study.
The study, conducted by Aeroseal, LLC and Quartr, included responses from 710 Americans regarding how they feel about returning to their workplace. The participants work in a variety of different settings including offices, schools, hospitals, retail, and other business spaces.
Survey respondents stated:
- Their workplace’s indoor air quality is the most important factor in protecting their health and safety.
- They are more concerned with the indoor air quality of their workplace than surfaces around the office like meeting rooms, washrooms, and elevators.
- They consider the air in their homes cleaner than it is at work.
Airborne transmission of the virus is possible indoors and there is an increased risk with poorly ventilated areas. Therefore, scientists are emphasizing how important it is to have proper building ventilation and air filtration as it is critical in preventing and combatting the spread of the virus. The HVAC systems in buildings including the air conditioner, furnace, and ducts must be properly maintained to keep the IAQ up to proper standards. Dealing with leaky ducts is especially important as the HVAC system cannot establish suitable airflow and ventilation, and it takes much longer for the air in a room to be decontaminated, ever increasing the risk of spreading the virus.
The importance of properly running HVAC systems is essential in order to protect the health and safety of the building occupants. Therefore, workplaces must stay up to date with service and maintenance on these systems to provide the highest indoor air quality possible, making the transition of returning to work safe for everyone.