Breathe Easy: New Reasons to Consider HVAC Maintenance
For most facility managers, the goal of HVAC maintenance is avoiding repairs. However, there is a side benefit that is often overlooked, and that is reducing the amount of time lost to illness. Improved workplace air quality can improve your employees’ health and increase their overall productivity. Here are just a few ways in which it could affect health and wellness.
According to the American College of Asthma, Allergies, and Immunology (ACAAI), asthma results in more than 14.2 million lost work days in the United States each year. With 8.3% of all Americans now suffering from asthma, chances are that someone in your workforce is affected.
Asthma attacks are often brought on by triggers such as pollen, dust, dander, or other irritants. All of these things are probably lurking inside your ductwork, where they will eventually be pushed out into common areas. The only way to eliminate them is through regular cleaning and maintenance.
Preventing Colds and Flu
Many people report getting sick as the weather changes. This is more than just an old wives’ tale, as there is actually some science behind the idea. Changes in the weather do not actually make you sick, but they can leave you more vulnerable to illness. So if you had just a slight cold before, fluctuating temperatures could be the catalyst that would kick the virus into high gear.
What does HVAC maintenance have to do with preventing colds? Easy-it ensures good airflow from your vents and even temperatures throughout your building. And by preventing hot and cold spots, your workers are more likely to experience only mild cold or flu symptoms.
Threat from COVID-19
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses must be especially vigilant when it comes to air quality. As reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine, the latest coronavirus can cause respiratory issues such as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) or pneumonia.
Those with an underlying health condition such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), high blood pressure, or heart disease are especially vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. For those individuals, physicians advise taking extra precautions. In particular, people are often advised to quit smoking so as to improve lung functioning.
Improved air quality will not necessarily protect your employees from the virus. However, it can ensure their lungs are healthy enough to fight COVID-19 if they do contract it.
You may think that allergies would only be a problem during spring. While seasonal allergies are always an issue, the fact is that an allergy flare-up can happen at any time. This is especially true for those who are triggered by dust mites or bacteria.
Employees are less likely to miss work due to allergies than they are with asthma. Even so, their sneezing, watery eyes, and runny noses could make it difficult for them to get any work done. Instead, they may engage in presenteeism, in which case they are present, but not actually accomplishing anything. Presenteeism can be almost as costly to your company as absenteeism, with some experts claiming it costs the U.S. economy more than $226 billion each year.
Those experiencing an allergy flare-up will also touch their face more often. In addition, sneezing can project virus particles much farther than normal. So any COVID-19 protocols you have put into place could be rendered ineffective if someone in your office has allergies.
Helping you and Your Employees Breathe Easier
Heating and cooling maintenance does more than just keep your system in great shape. It also provides the best conditions for everyone to remain well in. Schedule an appointment today to ensure the health and wellness of everyone on your payroll.