We’ve been talking to you about workplace hygiene for a while now. (Have you seen our Clean Your __ __ __ video?) If you can still remember way back to the beginning times of this pandemic, most of us were worried about hands and surfaces. Everyone wanted hand sanitizer and soap, disinfecting wipes and disinfecting sprays. And all of those items are still important, but more recently it’s clean air that’s getting the attention.

Clean air is important now to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

Earlier this month, the CDC officially announced that COVID-19 is transmitted by respiratory droplets that are spread through the air and is more likely to spread from person to person in enclosed indoor spaces. So if you have to be indoors, how do you clean your air? Lots of people assume that their HVAC system is doing some cleaning, but that really isn’t the case. Your air filter may catch some large particles, but most HVAC systems aren’t set up to clean. They circulate air – move it around. What you really need is an air purifier.  Air purifiers pull the air in your room through a series of filters, gradually cleaning out smaller and smaller particles until everything from dust and allergens to viruses and germs have been filtered out.

We’re sure you’re wondering, “Will they get rid of COVID?” Right now there are NO air purifiers that are certified to remove the COVID-19 virus. There just hasn’t been enough time to run those tests. Even though no air purifiers have been officially verified, many have proven effective at removing similar viruses. The CDC’s guidance for healthy workplaces suggests using HEPA filtration systems to enhance air cleaning, and the EPA also recommends supplementing your HVAC system with additional air filtration units. Adding air purifiers can show your employees and clients that you are taking concrete steps to care for their health and well-being.

Clean air will make for a healthier – and more prosperous – workplace later

Air purifiers can be a bit of an investment, especially if you have multiple rooms that may need a unit. One of the most common questions we get is, “Is this worth it? What will I do with it once COVID is gone? Will it still be useful?” The answer: Yes, it will absolutely still be useful after COVID. Even once life is back to normal, there will be plenty of things in your office air worth cleaning out.  Here are a few facts:

  • Each person breathes in about 3000 gallons of air every day.
  • Most people spend 90% of their time indoors.
  • Indoor air is 2-5 times more contaminated than outdoor air.

 

That’s a lot of time indoors breathing air that’s, well, let’s call it lightly used. Even under normal circumstances that can cause bacteria, viruses, dust and allergens, and harsh chemicals and odors to build up in your workplace. That can lead to discomfort, illness, and missed work days. And that affects your bottom line.

  • One in five Americans has allergies and the incidence of asthma in children has increased 160% in the past 10 years.
  • In the U.S., 14.2 million work days are lost each year due to allergies and asthma at a cost of $5.1 billion in lost production.
  • The flu shot was only 19% effective last year, and only about 50% of people even bothered to get one.
  • Americans use about 17 million sick days each year because of the flu. The average cost of those sick days is $2150 per employee.

Using an air filter in your workplace can reduce the contaminants in the air that cause asthma and allergy attacks and illnesses like the flu, leading to healthier, happier coworkers. And, in case that isn’t enough, we can also tell you that people are more productive in cleaner air.  In a recent study, people tested 61% better on cognitive assessments in places with cleaner air.

 

One last reason to say yes to an air purifier: odors. Air fresheners increase contaminants in air and don’t get rid of odors, they just cover them. They can also cause allergic reactions in some people. An air purifier can clean odors out of the air without chemicals. Say goodbye to the stink of fish from the breakroom or smells from the restroom. Your employees will feel better, and visitors will feel better about you. Sixty-five percent of people say that restrooms shape their perceptions of a place.

There are plenty of options out there for air purifiers, but after doing some research, we’re recommending the Fellowes AeraMax line. Why?

  • AeraMax purifiers have been certified effective for viruses similar to COVID-19, like SARS and H1N1.
  • AeraMax purifiers exchange the air in a room 5 times every hour, cleaning out 99.97% of particulates in air.
  • They can even sense when there are more people in the room and gear up to work harder!
  • The PureView display makes it easy to see how clean your air is. It shows the current air quality in the room and the percentage of particles being captured in real-time, as well as VOC/odor levels and filter change reminders.

 

If you’re ready to consider an air purifier for your workplace, email us or give call your account executive today. We’re happy to talk to you about the best options for your workplace.