Commercial HVAC – Clearing the Air
Millions of Americans arrive at work each morning to begin a new business day; but first, they have to get a few complaints out of their systems: Bob is too hot because his desk is directly under the heating vent; Cecilia’s allergies always seem to kick in right after she gets to work; Tom isn’t complaining at all, though: he is sick at home, convinced there is something in his office that is making him ill. As an owner or manager, the critical importance of keeping a clean and safe atmosphere in your commercial business should not be lost on you – for the employees’ benefit and the company’s as well.
The Problem in the Air
Poor air quality costs American business billions of dollars each year. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration states, “Poor indoor air quality has been tied to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Also, some specific diseases have been linked to specific air contaminants or indoor environments, like asthma.”
Mold and other Contaminates
Mold and other nasty particles can be found anywhere in a workplace, in the floor, ceiling, walls, and in the HVAC system. In fact, a study of 813 “sick buildings” found that 75% of the mold concentration was in the HVAC system itself. It clings to any surface and breeds until spores are released into the air and into the lungs of one’s employees. A Harvard study even found that elements such as paint and tarnish on furniture can have a substantial negative effect on air quality and employee health.
20% of Americans have severe allergies, but 100% can be affected by mold and contaminates. The American Lung Association notes that over 14 million American work days are lost due to those with asthma, and the average American with sinus problems misses 4 extra days per year. Keep in mind that these figures pertain to all American employees – calculations for those only in sick buildings and the number would likely skyrocket. Moreover, it isn’t just the employees who miss work that costs businesses – it is also those who “soldier on” and go to work anyway; these employees, while dedicated, show a huge drop in productivity, costing you even more.
Totaling the Costs
Estimates top out at $168 billion per year. This figure is the American total for missed work, medical bills, and loss of productivity due to sickness. But again, as a national figure, it does not explore the hike in numbers when considering the employees who work in a building that’s contamination is higher than average. But that isn’t even the worst of it.
Lawsuits are nothing new, but the upward swing in employee lawsuits for unsafe air quality in the workplace should sound an alarm. A USA Today article states, “This is a litigation trend. Attorneys have realized they can bring a case and make money.” In the name of saving money by avoiding maintenance checks by a reliable commercial HVAC service, the door to a possible class-action lawsuit swings wide open; at least the open door might get some fresh air inside.
You will never know until you look. A respected commercial HVAC service such as Vancouver, Washington’s Entek HVAC can handle everything. The biggest problems in poor indoor air are exactly the problems we fix every day: Mold and contaminates in the HVAC unit, poor indoor circulation, poor ventilation, and improper heating and cooling spikes throughout the building. Entek is a member of ASHRAE, and our technicians know the very latest in indoor air quality standards and maintenance. Our experts, along with expertise of BPI technicians, can analyze every square foot of your business’s space, determining air and water leakage, HVAC performance, air quality, and other measurements of your commercial system.
What you don’t know may cost you, and prevention is always the best choice.
Contact Entek HVAC of Vancouver, WA, for all Your Commercial HVAC Services
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