According to the United States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the term “sick building syndrome” (SBS) is “used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified.” Most commonly these symptoms occur in buildings with older infrastructure or poorly performing HVAC systems. Due to technological and architectural advancements, older buildings may no longer provide proper ventilation and air can become stagnant. While these signs aren’t visible right away they can have harsh effects on your health and must be addressed. Here are some ways you can avoid SBS in your building.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
It’s not uncommon for buildings over 30 years old to have infrastructure issues such as poor ventilation. While all modern buildings are built with proper ventilation, older buildings may not have had a proper ventilation system and structure built within the building as air pollution was not a major concern until the late 1970s. Proper ventilation allows for air to circulate through your building with fresh clean air moving into the building while stagnant polluted air moves out of the building.
If your building does not have proper ventilation, have a professional assess your ductwork and ventilation system. There may be a clog in your ductwork, or it may be necessary to replace your ventilation system. There are also other ways to improve your airflow. Allowing natural air through an open window or door can also help circulate airflow and prevent stagnant air from forming.
People and animals naturally shed hair and skin particles. These particles build up over time and form dust and dander which can pollute the air. Breathing in these particles can have harmful health effects such as respiratory issues, difficulty breathing, and skin irritation. Regularly dusting and vacuuming removes these particles that get built up and trapped in your carpets, surfaces, and floors.
Have Preventative Maintenance Performed
Having Preventative Maintenance performed quarterly or every three months ensures that your HVAC systems are in proper working order and allows for efficient airflow within your building. Tasks included with preventative maintenance such as drain line cleaning and air filter changes remove any built-up dust, debris, and particles from your HVAC system that can pollute your air. With preventative maintenance, you can be assured that your building will have proper airflow with clean and cool air.
Does your building suffer from Sick Building Syndrome? If so, the CMS Nextech team can help! Give us a call at (800)-382-3150 to see how we can properly serve your HVAC and ventilation systems to provide your building with cool and clean airflow.