Recent studies have shown how the coronavirus is spread when very small particles, known as aerosols, are released. This happens when a person infected with the virus coughs, sneezes, talks or breathes. That’s why air quality monitoring is essential when considering a safe and healthy return to work.
Why is air quality monitoring important?
As businesses begin the tentative return to work, people are understandably concerned about the air quality in their office. Air quality monitoring is essential when creating a healthy environment because it allows a building to monitor the level of outside air coming into the building, and the stale air being expelled. Ventilation is also important because it dilutes airborne pathogens and, in turn, reduces the chance of spreading disease.
How to improve air quality in an office environment
The government has released a series of documents guiding employers on how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic and advice from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has been updated to include specific guidelines for managing ventilation in an office building.
The CIBSE recommends increasing the rate of supply of outside air wherever practical to minimise the risk of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV2. Increasing the air supply to include as much outside air as is reasonably possible will limit the recirculation and transfer of air from one room to another. Further to this, it is recommended that rooms without access to outside air should be given prohibiting access – especially if occupants are likely to spend a considerable amount of time in them.
To boost the rate of outside air supply, the CIBSE also suggests increasing natural ventilation by opening all external doors and windows for as long as possible. A room that only has windows and/or vents on one side should consider using a fan to promote circulation in stagnant areas.
Cross-ventilation is a useful way to encourage greater airflow. This can be achieved when windows and/or vents are opened on different sides of a room as it increases the outdoor airflow and helps to remove airborne pathogens. However, try to avoid air travelling from one occupied room to another.
Buildings that use mechanical ventilation systems should consider extending their operation times to start at least two hours before the building is used, and ending only two hours after the building has closed. This will assist in reducing the amount of recirculated air being spread.
The role of technology in air quality monitoring
Technology can play an important role in air quality monitoring. With Smarter Technologies’ air monitoring system, you can observe and monitor the air quality in your building in real time. This helps you to protect the health of your staff and ensure that you stay compliant with legislation. Our indoor sensors are perfect for insulated buildings where high occupancy affects air quality.
Contact us today to see how Smarter Technologies can benefit your business. Our experts are on-hand to advise you on the most efficient and cost-effective air quality monitoring solutions for your business’ needs.