Mount Pleasant, Texas, is generally a warm area where the climate allows year-round growth of plants, flowers and grass. This constant growth cycle makes it a great place to live for most people. However, for people with allergies, the seasonal cycles of these plants can be a source of discomfort in the workplace. Here are some steps that business owners can take to reduce allergens in the office and improve their employees’ health:
Know the Risks
The impact of allergens on businesses can be substantial. An estimated 3.4 million U.S. workdays are lost each year due to allergies at a cost of $639 million! Think about the cost of lost work days at your company caused by allergens in your offices. Regular cleaning and HVAC maintenance are essential to:
- Creating a healthier office environment
- Maintaining low absenteeism
- Generating high productivity for your business
Know Your Allergens
An allergen is any substance that’s harmless to most people but can trigger an immune response and allergic reaction in others. Pollen is just one type of common allergen. Dust, mites, pet dander and biological growth can also cause severe allergic reactions.
Across Texas, oak pollen can take over in the spring, covering everything in a yellow blanket. Mountain Cedar does well in the cool Texas winter months and can cause symptoms similar to flu with headaches and fatigue. Ragweed can hide among other plants and flowers and create health problems. Know the allergens near your business and how they can affect your employees.
Basic Office Cleaning
As the facility manager or owner of a business, you employ personnel to manage and maintain your offices. Your staff probably removes trash daily, cleans countertops in the coffee service area, and sweeps the hallways. This kind of basic cleaning removes some allergens from the office environment. Basic cleaning can be inadequate for effective allergen removal, especially during seasons when allergens follow employees into the office on their clothes and shoes.
Advanced Office Cleaning
Basic sweeping and cleaning can increase allergy problems by making allergens airborne. Effective allergen cleaning should include disposable dusters to trap and remove particles that collect on horizontal surfaces like door frames, shelves and cabinet tops.
Use vacuum cleaners that have HEPA filters that capture allergens. Wet mop hard surfaces and floors to soak up allergens until they’re flushed out of the building. Avoid cleaning agents such as ammonia that have strong odors and may also cause allergic reactions.
Basic HVAC Maintenance
Your HVAC system is also important in reducing allergens. Regular ductwork cleaning removes allergen buildup. Replacement of duct filters traps larger allergens. Follow an HVAC maintenance calendar, and ensure that your HVAC system has been thoroughly inspected. Fix identified issues that can lead to HVAC failures and costly repair.
Advanced HVAC Maintenance
Modern HVAC systems offer additional and effective allergen reduction via air exchange and purification units. Air exchange refreshes the air inside your office with outside air. These exchangers conserve energy used to heat and cool the facility, keeping your costs low.
Some HVAC systems also include air purification units. These purification units may include electrostatic filters to trap tiny particles and ultraviolet lamps to disable active allergens. It’s important to maintain your system’s filters and ultraviolet lamps to effectively reduce allergens in your office.
Indoor Allergen Awareness
Employees who don’t suffer from allergies may not be aware of the steps that you’re taking to reduce allergens in your office. Post notices in public areas like the coffee stand or cafeteria and via email. Inform employees when maintenance is being conducted. Explain how unseen allergens can be a significant health issue to fellow employees. Ensure employees understand that less sick days throughout the company prevents heavier workloads, longer days and more stress for all employees.
A healthier work environment benefits your employees and your business. Take basic steps to reduce allergens in your office. Contact Wood Air Conditioning at 903-285-6550 to discuss how we help reduce allergens in your office.
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