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Although the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in the United States with over 24 million cases to date, some businesses are asking employees to return to the office with the understanding that extra precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of the contagious virus.

Companies that are unable to conduct business remotely and are operating in person are attempting to protect the health of their employees through measures such as social distancing and mask wearing.

There are many factors that can affect the quality of indoor air, such as ventilation. Ideally, a commercial building is circulating and ventilating enough fresh air through each room to whisk away many of the indoor air pollutants.

Here are three ways to improve the indoor air quality in an office building:

  • Increase ventilation. Regularly testing HVAC components can ensure air is being filtered properly and is flowing appropriately. If enough fresh air isn’t being circulated into a room or building, pollutants can linger and lead to odor; stuffy air; irritation of the eyes, nose and throat; and even respiratory conditions.
  • Use an air purifier. High-efficiency portable air purifiers can be temporarily placed in the central areas of a building and help filter air during times of increased indoor activity. Note that some air purifiers are built to capture small pathogens like bacteria and viruses, while others only filter larger particulate matter.
  • Maintain HVAC and filters. It is important to replace air filters and maintain HVAC systems, especially during the winter months. Proper ventilation and air exchange through a building’s HVAC system is one of the best ways to maintain healthy indoor air quality.