Fall is officially here! And for those of us not blessed with mild winters, that means that very soon it’ll be time to close the windows and turn on the heat. There are a few steps you can take to make sure the indoor air quality of a facility is as good as it can be for occupants over the winter. The EPA reports that most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors, and the pollutant levels can actually be higher indoors than outside.1 Here's a checklist of what you can do to make sure that's NOT the case for your facility.
Winter IAQ Prep Checklist
❏ Place floor mats at every entrance help reduce the number of pollutants like dirt and pesticides tracked in from outside.
❏ Use a vacuum with a rotating brush and HEPA filter to reduce the amount of dust that gets thrown back up into the air.
❏ When mopping, use a microfiber mop. This helps to remove dust from hard floors.
❏ Empty trash cans daily, so odors and contaminants can’t build up.
❏ Choose a cleaning product with low VOCs.
❏ Indoor plants clean the air. Just make sure they are taken care of properly.
❏ Keep the humidity in the building between 30-50%. High humidity can help spread pollutants. Dust mites and mold, in particular, like moisture.
❏ Make sure the HVAC system has been appropriately maintained. Make sure all air vents and grills are not blocked and are cleaned.
❏ Clean up water spills promptly. Standing water is an excellent environment for molds and fungi to grow. Microbes can become airborne, causing health issues.
❏ Take care of any projects that require painting/stripping before the winter. These projects require the use of products that can be harmful, especially if they are not adequately ventilated.
- EPA. (n.d.). The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/inside-story-guide-indoor-air-quality.