As businesses in Oregon begin to reopen, there are numerous steps business owners can take to improve indoor air quality in their businesses. Because bacteria and other pollutants travel through the air, indoor air quality is a key area of concern for customers. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air can be five times as polluted as outdoor air. Since indoor air is not circulated as much as outside air, many airborne pollutants continue to thrive inside. The indoor air quality tips outlined below are a few of the many ways you can work to protect your business, employees and customers.
Business owners can prioritize these indoor air quality tips to keep people safe:
- Utilize natural ventilation at your business by opening windows and doors and operating window or attic fans when possible. Increasing outdoor ventilation is a quick way to improve air circulation and limit the spread of bacteria in the air. The more stagnant the air is, the more likely diseases are to spread.
- Consider switching to all-natural cleaning products to eliminate toxins from the air, while also keeping your business clean.
- Change air filters regularly at your business. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends using MERV 13 or higher rated filters.
- Use an indoor air purifier to maintain clean air. Air purifiers with HEPA technology filters can remove 99.7 percent of the airborne particulate matter (PM) circulating in the environment, improving indoor health conditions.
This list is not comprehensive, and businesses should continue to follow state guidance. The following resources offer more information and tips for businesses:
- CDC’s guidance for businesses & employers
- Prosper Portland business resources
- Oregon COVID-19 updates
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce reopening business digital resources center
- EPA: Improving indoor air quality
Visit www.energytrust.org/existingbuildings for more opportunities to improve your business.