Commercial buildings have several options for improving indoor air quality (IAQ), but some are far more costly than others. A full upgrade or replacement of your building’s HVAC unit and ductwork to a newer or more energy-efficient setup might be out of reach. If you need to improve air quality quickly or on a tight budget, the cost-effective solutions below could be just what you’re looking for:
Generally speaking, the more outdoor air you can bring into the building, the better. Introducing fresh air from outside dilutes and reduces indoor airborne pollutants. This doesn’t need to mean expensive upgrades to mechanical ventilation equipment. When weather and outside conditions permit, opening windows and doors or running air conditioning equipment with the vent control open is a great solution for improving indoor air quality.
According to the EPA, the most effective way to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) is usually to eliminate individual sources of pollution (or at least reduce their emissions). This is, in many cases, a cost-efficient approach as well. By decreasing the emissions from equipment like gas stoves and sealing away or enclosing other sources, such as those containing asbestos, you may have an even more positive impact on IAQ than increasing ventilation, which can also increase energy costs.
Consider replacing your current air filters with MERV 13 or better options. True HEPA filters (which are MERV 17+) are the best and last a long time. Optimal air filters will help your commercial HVAC system to properly clean and filter outdoor and recirculated indoor air, removing airborne contaminants like dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and more. Change or clean your filters regularly for best results.
Carbon dioxide or CO2 sensors are a critical tool in getting the most out of your existing HVAC systems and saving money through energy efficiency. Mechanical ventilation is important, but over-ventilation can create higher costs without improving results. The best CO2 sensors, like our CW2 series, are simple to install and operate. A good rule of thumb is to watch for CO2 readings above 800 ppm. If levels are high, either turn on air filtration systems or — if the weather is cooperating — open windows and doors on opposite sides of the building or a large space (to help with cross-ventilation).
You’ll want to monitor humidity levels because excessive humidity and moist indoor air can promote the growth of mold. If you’re able to maintain an indoor RH level between 30% - 50%, you’ll keep mold spores down. Humidity is easy to track with room IAQ sensors such as our HW2 series.
Small and medium buildings can achieve affordable improvements in IAQ with portable air purifiers that use negative ionization, photocatalytic UV-C, ActivePure®, HEPA, or other air purification technologies. Many portable units offer multiple filtration types in a single device. This solution is less costly than updating a whole HVAC system but can make a huge impact.
If you need further guidance on improving indoor air quality, don’t hesitate to book a virtual meeting with one of our sensor experts. We’ll help you identify the most impactful solutions for your budget and help you get your IAQ into shape.