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Heating, Cooling, Wine Cellars | Birmingham, AL


Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality in the Workplace

airborne-microbesAre your employees complaining about allergies? Are they taking more sick days than usual? You could blame it on allergy season, and a lot of people do. But when you’re the owner of the business or building, you can’t say there aren’t things you could be doing to improve this situation.

Namely, air filtration and purifiers can make a significant impact on reducing the number of airborne contaminants that lead to poor indoor air quality.

The cleanliness of the air inside your building is referred to as indoor air quality (IAQ). Poor IAQ is characterized by stale air, airborne contaminants, and low or high humidity levels. Prolonged IAQ can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, and other unpleasant symptoms. The symptoms are usually short-term, persisting only within the building itself—which makes your building a place that employees and customers alike are not going to enjoy entering.

According to EPA’s guide to indoor air quality, there are three different types of airborne contaminants that can aggravate your employees and customers. We’ll also explain what type of air treatment systems are best for handling indoor air quality in Birmingham, AL.

Biological contaminants

These are the main triggers for those with asthma and allergies. Contaminants range from bacteria and viruses to animal dander and pollen. Excess humidity can worsen these problems by giving bacteria the proper conditions to grow.

The strategy here is two-part. If humidity is indeed a seasonal or year-round problem for you, you should install a dehumidifier. These can be powerful enough to treat the air in the whole building, not just in individual rooms.

Whether or not you install a dehumidifier is up to you, but we definitely suggest a UV air purifier. These will kill the biological pollutants before they have a chance to replicate through your air circulation.

Chemical Pollutants

If your business uses various chemicals indoors, then proper ventilation is essential to the health of you and your employees. Even if your employees aren’t dealing with paint and soldering, there are several products that create emissions on their own, such as cleaning products and furniture containing formaldehyde.

In this case, UV air purifiers don’t apply since there are no living organisms in the mix. Instead, an air filter or normal air purifier can help trap and remove these contaminants from the air. These filters use mesh screens or ionization clean the air.


Have you ever seen dust and particles floating in the air through a beam of sunlight? Those are only some of the biggest particles visible to our eyes. The rest of them are too small to see and actually more harmful. Dust and dirt are the most common. Again, depending on the activities performed by your business, it could produce more particles. Even printing and copying can contribute to lower indoor air quality.

Treatment options here are similar to what you would use on chemical pollutants. However, that’s not to say that there will never be biological contaminants in the same space as chemical pollutants or particles. Indoor air quality will be best when both methods are combined.

Don’t skip indoor air quality! Contact Gas Engineers, a first-rate HVAC service since 1959.

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