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Office Indoor Air Quality: Common Pollutants [Part 1]

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hvac Office Indoor Air QualitySeveral factors can contribute to poor indoor air quality in your office or facility, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause or source of the contamination. Indoor air quality problems can be linked to neglected HVAC systems, improper office layouts, or in the form of naturally occurring or chemical pollutants that contaminate the air. There are 3 main categories for indoor air pollutants: biological, chemical, and particle contaminates.


Biological contaminants consist of moulds and fungi, as well as dust, bacteria, pollen, pet dander. These contaminants are either living organisms (mould) or caused by living things (pets, people). When mould grows in spaces it releases spores into the air which will circulate through the HVAC system. You need to safely remove mould to protect your employees from the negative health effects it can have on those who breathe it in.


Office buildings contain high levels of chemical contaminants emitted into the air from various products and pieces of equipment. Cleaning products and air fresheners are the easier targets to identify, but other sources include new furniture, carpeting, or freshly painted walls (they release volatile organic compounds or VOC’s). Photocopiers and printers are another source; they can give off heat and emit potentially harmful chemicals.


Commonly composed of dust and dirt particles, these containments are suspended in the air and enter our lungs when we breathe. Particles can enter the air supply from the outdoors, or arise from indoor activities such as printing and copying. Renovation projects are also the culprit for temporary periods of poor indoor air quality due to dust and debris from construction; keep these projects properly contained to minimize this risk.

It’s important to test the indoor air quality levels in your office or facility to protect the health of your employees. A professional IAQ and HVAC expert will be able to identify the cause of your indoor air quality problems and provide solutions for improving the quality levels.

Remember that indoor air quality effects employee health and their energy and productivity levels—an investment in IAQ improvement is an investment in your employees.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our indoor air quality series. We’ll address the HVAC problems that can cause low levels of air quality.

>>Concerned about the air in your workplace? Learn more about IAQ and fill in the form to request an air quality consultation.

Dave Morrison is the General Manager at Intelligent Comfort Solutions. He has over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial HVAC maintenance, repair, installation, and indoor air quality improvement. He prides himself on finding the best HVAC solution for your business, and building a lasting relationship that your business can depend on. Dave is known for his open and honest communication and his friendly top notch customer service.

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