Featured Partner

Clearing the Air: Improving Indoor Air Quality in Offices in the Face of Contagious Illnesses

Featured Partner Contributor
Font Size:

It hasn’t been that long since the buzz and the hum of many office spaces were replaced by silence as people scrambled to set up home offices. A pandemic will do that, especially if one of the main traits of the virus causing it is an incredible ease of spreading, especially in closed environments with little ventilation.

And that’s what office spaces often are — places that were built to facilitate efficiency and not be particularly health-minded. Among the workplaces that did care about the health of their workers, ergonomic chairs and standing desks might be easier to see than a system that supports air quality.

It doesn’t surprise, then, that offices are the perfect breathing ground for the spread of illnesses. People work in close proximity, they have shared spaces, and the air recirculates. That’s an ideal setting for a highly contagious virus to come and wreak havoc on people’s health.

Silva Building Specialists, headed by its President, Tommy Silva, are no strangers to disinfecting and cleaning high-risk spaces. During the pandemic, the company offered its cleaning and janitorial services to offices of first responders across the greater Houston  area. Even beyond the pandemic, Silva Building Specialists see what offices do to improve their indoor air quality.

Increasing ventilation is often the simplest way to improve the air quality in an office space. Letting more of the outdoor air in by opening windows and even using fans to circulate the air might be able to reduce the number of airborne germs or other contaminants. In offices where windows don’t open, the next best thing is a ventilation system that brings in fresh air from the outside.

Filtering the air that goes through the ventilation system is something that most HVAC systems used in offices probably already do. It’s important to note that there are different types of filters and that upgrading to HEPA filters can help trap the vast majority of particles larger than 0.3 microns in diameter. That covers many germs.

Additional air purifiers might catch those that slip by the HVAC’s filters. Placed strategically around the office, they can help improve the indoor air quality by serving as an additional layer of protection. Using a UV light system in conjunction with air purifiers or the HVAC system is yet another thing that can be done to reduce the threat of airborne germs, even though using them properly might be more complicated than using air purifiers.

It might be the additional measures, the ones that complement air quality measures, which are necessary to make offices places where disease doesn’t spread as quickly. Promoting healthy habits among the workforce, such as regular hand washing or disinfection, can go a long way. Creating an office configuration that allows more space between coworkers can slow down or stop the spread of airborne germs. Giving people the option to work from home or take a sick day if they don’t feel well is an even better option to prevent the spread of disease.

In the end, it’s important to remember that air transmission is just one of the possible pathways for the spread of germs. Surfaces are another, which is why it’s essential to have them cleaned and disinfected by a certified company with plenty of experience in the area. And that’s where Silva Building Specialists excel.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the Daily Caller were not involved in the creation of this content.