Office Tips for Good Indoor Air Quality.
Adapted from An Office Building Occupants Guide to Indoor Air Quality – EPA 1997
What You Can Do to Improve the Indoor Air in Your Office:
- Do not block air vents or grilles – this ensures the HVAC remains balanced and you don’t affect the air quality in a neighbouring offices.
- Comply with the office and building smoking policy – smoke only in designated areas, at least 5m away from any door, window or air intake grill.
- Water and maintain office plants properly – don’t over water and clean up any spill promptly.
- Report any water leaks immediately – damp building material promotes mould and bacteria growth.
- Dispose of garbage promptly and properly – prompt disposal prevents odours and biological contamination.
- Store food correctly – refrigerate perishable items, do not leave open food or fruit on your desk.
- Avoid bringing products into the building that could release harmful or bothersome odours or contaminants.
- Notify your building or facility manager immediately if you suspect an indoor air quality problem or if your office is not comfortable to work in.
If You Manage an Office:
- Maintain a good working relationship with building management on indoor environmental issues.
- Place office furniture and equipment with air circulation, temperature control, and pollutant removal functions of the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in mind. Ensure furniture does not block supply or return grilles.
- Coordinate with building management in instances when responsibility for design, operation, and maintenance of the ventilation system is shared.
- Establish an effective smoking policy that protects non-smokers from involuntary exposure to second-hand smoke.
- Integrate indoor air quality concerns into your purchasing decisions – avoid cleaning products furnishings etc. with high levels of volatile organic compounds or other strong chemicals.
- Work with the building manager to ensure use of only necessary and appropriate pest control practices, and nonchemical methods where possible.
- Work with building management and the contractor before you remodel or renovate to identify ways of keeping building occupant exposure to pollutants to a minimum and to ensure that the air distribution system is not disrupted.
- Promptly investigate any indoor air quality or pollutant concerns that are brought to your attention by the building occupants.
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