3 Reasons to Reduce Airborne Contaminants in Your Place of Business
Indoor air quality is essential to all businesses that rely on patrons coming to their physical premises. Here’s a quick overview of just some of the common contaminants found in indoor air, the negative health effects they pose to your patrons, and three compelling reasons to address the air quality in your place of business.
What Could Your Patrons Be Breathing?
According to the EPA, indoor air is routinely two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. This contamination can come from a number of sources, including the following:
- Pollen, dander, dust, and other common allergens
- Viruses, such as COVID-19
- Odors from smoke, food, garbage, or other sources
Potential Health Effects of Breathing Contaminated Air
The potentially negative effects of being exposed to poor indoor air quality vary based on the individual. The same group of people could be exposed to the same indoor air conditions and have very different reactions. Some might experience no negative effects, while others could experience any or all of the following:
- Eye, nose, and throat irritation
- Episodes of new or worsening asthma
Depending on the contaminants being breathed in and the length of exposure, people could even develop heart disease, respiratory diseases, or cancer.
This is also to say nothing of the lack of productivity and diminished concentration caused by sick building syndrome.
3 Reasons Businesses Should Care about Improved Indoor Air Quality
1. Improved Safety
Whether it’s fighting the COVID-19 virus of today or battling some unknown health hazard down the line, taking steps to improve the indoor air quality in your place of business can help protect your patrons from illness. For example, airborne debris can actually be a transportation mechanism for viruses. Therefore, even if the debris itself is inert, it can still pose a threat in its capacity to transport viruses. Keeping your air clear of this kind of particulate matter helps improve the overall safety of the air in your occupied space.
It’s important to remember, though, indoor air quality improvement should just be one step in a multilayer defense against air contaminants. No single system—from HEPA filters to air ionizers—represents a “silver bullet” against any airborne virus, pathogen, or contaminant. Especially during the pandemic, always couple your indoor air quality improvement efforts with best public health practices (handwashing, mask wearing, social distancing, and more).
2. Financial Considerations
If patrons feel confident and secure you’ve done everything possible to improve the quality of your indoor air, they are simply more likely to return to your place of business. That increased level of comfort directly correlates to a financial benefit.
The important thing here is to address indoor air quality improvement from a two-pronged approach. One, you have to implement the system that works for your business, and two, you need to communicate what you’ve done to your patron base. You can invest in the most effective indoor air quality cleaners on the market, but if your customers don’t know what you’ve done to improve that air quality, you’ve done nothing to alleviate their fears or to make them feel more comfortable in your establishment.
To see the financial gains of an indoor air cleaning system, have a strategic plan to inform your customers about your efforts. That way, it can not only passively minimize the chance of a patron getting sick while in your establishment, but it can also actively bolster confidence in people returning.
Installing one of these air improvement systems also has the potential to expand your clientele. Say you run a hair and nail salon. Some people are highly sensitive to the smell of the chemicals and perfumes used in that kind of establishment. An air cleaning system that mitigates odors can help those kinds of customers be in your place of business without experiencing headaches or any adverse effects. Again, this expansion of your customer base directly correlates to greater financial benefits.
3. Reputation Management
A company that relies on patrons inherently relies on reputation. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the hospitality sector, in the food and beverage vertical, or you’re a physical retail location. If you have patrons coming into your place of business, you want those people to be satisfied and to become your brand ambassadors.
Some studies have found people are more likely to share bad customer experiences than good. Other studies have found the opposite, with people more likely to post on social media about positive customer experiences. While the results vary, the common thread through all this research is one thing: customers talk.
If they have a remarkably good (or bad) experience at your business, they are very likely to share it. Maybe it’ll be through a tweet or just a face-to-face conversation with a friend. Whatever the medium, your business could experience stigma and a damaged reputation if your poor indoor air quality contributed to someone’s allergic reaction, worsened asthma, or illness from a virus.
Remember, when it comes to trust in a business, it’s difficult to build and very easy to lose.
Confused? Overwhelmed? Looking for More Information?
If you’re thinking about installing an indoor air cleaning system, it can definitely be confusing and overwhelming. With so many acronyms floating around the industry—PCO, IAQ, UV, MERV, HEPA—it can be hard to keep the systems and their relative pros and cons straight.
If you have any questions about what’s available on the market today, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re always happy to talk through what system makes the most sense in your place of business.
The important thing is choosing a system that will improve your indoor air quality—without compromising on safety. For example, never choose an indoor air cleaner that generates high levels of ozone. (Read here for the dangers of ozone exposure.) To ensure you’re not introducing this dangerous factor into your occupied space, ask for certification verifying the solution produces less than five parts per billion of ozone.
Again, if you have any technical questions about an air cleaning device, you can always reach out to our team of experts.
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