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It seems like every news cycle is dominated by talk of air pollution and poor indoor air quality. There are ways, however, to influence the quality of indoor environments.

Here are four quick changes that facility managers can make to improve indoor air quality.

1. Boost ventilation.

One simple way of helping alleviate air issues is by boosting the flow of air throughout a facility by opening windows. Oftentimes, facility managers try to improve air by putting additional filters in place by cranking up the HVAC, but that drags down airflow (there’s a better solution at Number Four on our list!). Also, note that bacteria and spores grow in warm, wet environments, so consider getting dehumidifiers for problem areas, like areas of water leaks and damage.

2. Remove problems.

Certain types of carpeting and office furniture give off vapors that are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which in turn affect respiration and exacerbate asthma symptoms. That’s why many companies opt for wood or tile flooring. Look to replace things like toxic wall paint to with non-toxic alternatives, too.

3. Go green.

“Cleaning for Health” is a huge trend these days and focusing on green cleaning techniques can improve overall indoor air quality. Get started by downloading our whitepaper.

4. Get AeraMax® Professional.

Quite simply, the most effective way to positively impact indoor air quality is by installing AeraMax Professional commercial grade air purifiers. These units remove 99.97 percent of indoor contaminants like germs, bacteria, allergens and VOCs, making indoor air livable and breathable again. Each also is effective at removing odors from indoor spaces, making them ideal for high traffic areas. The air purifiers come in wall mount and stand units in a variety of sizes to suit most indoor spaces, and offer an easy way to get ahead of indoor air quality issues.

Climate Change

Climate change has really done a number on the US this winter: Southern California has been deluged by torrential rains, the East Coast has been hit with summer-like weather, and tornados—usually seen in late spring and early summer—have cropped up in February in the Midwest. And in the Southeast? Winter meant nothing, with Atlanta experiencing an average temperature increase of nine degrees; New Orleans had an eight-degree uptick and Charlotte had almost a ten-degree increase.

Allergy Seasons Starting Sooner

All that wet and warm weather means one thing: allergy seasons will start sooner and will be prolonged, because in some areas, allergy producing blooms emerged in late February. In fact, according to the National Allergy Bureau, tree pollen is already a problem, with reports of high concentrations throughout the South and into the farthest tip of Florida.

With such an early start to the season, people are already experiencing allergy symptoms. According to Thomas Johnson, MD, of Allergy and Asthma Care of Florida, in Ocala, FL, sufferers should get tested to determine exactly what pollens they are allergic to, before getting medication or trying over-the-counter remedies.

Additionally, people can track pollen counts at the National Allergy Bureau website (www.aaaai.org/nab) to minimize exposure and start treatment before the allergy season hits hardest.

What to do at Home?

At home, allergy sufferers should consider:

  • Doing outdoor activities after it rains, or in the evening, when pollen counts are generally lower
  • Avoiding hanging clothes outside to air dry
  • Showering after outdoor activities to remove any clinging pollen.
  • Frequently washing eyes to remove contact with airborne allergens.

What to do at Work?

At work, employees who are allergy sufferers should ensure that doors and windows are kept closed, and should talk with facility managers about ways to remove allergens from the indoor air.

Facility managers themselves should understand that allergens are brought in from outdoors in a number of ways: from fresh air being pumped into facilities; on the clothing of people coming in from outdoors; and by opened windows.

AeraMax Professional Fights Allergy Season

Key to helping alleviate sufferers’ symptoms is ridding the air of allergen spores to begin with, by using AeraMax® Professional commercial-grade air purification. Each AeraMax Professional unit removes up to 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants, like germs and allergens, from indoor air, greatly reducing the triggers for seasonal allergies. Indeed, helping allergy sufferers requires facility managers to “clean for health,” using air purification as a foundation for fighting allergy season.


Billionaire philanthropist and tech pioneer Bill Gates recently visited Geneva, Switzerland on a mission: to find the worst smell he could inhale and still remain standing. Sounds like a more of a wacky fraternity stunt than a fact-finding mission from one of the richest men in the world, but there was method to his madness.


In many parts of the developing world, disease runs rampant from the creation of makeshift bathrooms and outhouses; oftentimes the use of open pit latrines is bypassed by people because of the overpowering smells. In those cases, people then “create” their own facilities, going anywhere and everywhere out in public. This results in a massive sanitation issue with the spread of more germs and disease, and increases the instances of rats carrying and passing along these diseases at a rapid rate. In fact, 800,000 children die annually from sanitation-related illnesses.

The Thinking

And so, Gates found himself at a renowned perfume and scent laboratory, sniffing from decanters of foul-smelling liquids developed specifically for him. By identifying the most rancid smell, researchers at the lab think they can reverse-engineer a fragrance to combat that smell, by breaking down the liquid to a molecular level and counteracting the molecules. Then, the fragrance could be used to mask smells in open air latrines in developing countries, blocking receptors in the nose that identify bad smells. The thinking: If the smell was mitigated, more people would use the latrines, which eliminates the spread of fecal matter in open areas and reduce disease.

The researchers have a long way to go, but with Gates’ commitment to the project, a light has been shone on the need to eliminate odors. What’s more, odors aren’t just a problem in the developing world. In developed countries, bathroom odors can adversely affect a company’s perception among employees and guests. But unlike the developing world, odors needn’t be masked in “first world” countries.

The Power of Aeramax PRO

For example, AeraMax® Professional commercial-grade air purifiers not only remove germs, allergens and bacteria from indoor spaces like bathrooms, but they also use unique carbon filters to capture bathroom odors from indoor air. So, instead of masking odors with heavy perfumes, AeraMax Professional air purifiers truly scrub the air, offering facility managers an effective and efficient way of solving an age-old problem.

You know those TV commercials pushing probiotics, the ones claiming there’s good microorganisms in your stomach that battle the bad? Well, that’s what healthcare professionals call the Human Microbiome, a balance of microorganisms in internal organs that both regulate health and cause illness. Researchers have for years been mapping the Human Microbiome, much like in the way that predecessors mapped the Human Genome. The idea: by mapping out the microorganisms living in humans, healthcare professionals may be able to see patterns or affect change in the body by modifying the overall mix.

Now, researchers at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) are attempting to map a microbiome for manmade environments, like office buildings, in the hopes that they can understand how microbial environments affect human health.

As part of its study, NAS is looking at the ways different microbials invade built environments, as well as how humans impact these environments, like workplaces. By better understanding the interplay of people and environments, the researchers hope to determine how to influence these environments—like what kinds of building materials, ventilation systems and construction techniques would create positive microbiomes. The final report is expected to be released sometime this year.

At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, the focus was on the “Internet of Things:” the interconnectivity of devices with lifestyles and constant feedback via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. So, you now have refrigerators that can alert you when you’re running low on milk, or home security systems that also change lighting to fit your mood.

One company, Plume Labs, introduced a wearable air quality monitor for the general public at CES. Called Flow, the device is meant to crowdsource data on air quality and monitor pollution as a person goes about their workday and evening. The thinking: With more data, consumers can make informed decisions about pollution solutions.

The monitor resembles a perforated tube with a leather-like strap that allows you to affix it to your backpack, clothing, a stroller, your bike…you name it. By taking it with you, and syncing it to an app—naturally—you’d get a readout of particulate matter and dust levels, nitrogen oxide from car emissions, ozone and volatile organic compound levels, as well as outside temperature and humidity.

Because other people around your area will also have continuous readings from their Flow devices, the app will aggregate crowd-sourced data to provide maps of problem areas, as well as places with better air.

Flow could become a good way to see what’s happening in the air around you, which is a perfect transition to actually combatting bad air, like installing AeraMax® Professional air purifiers in workplaces.

Flow will be launched nationwide later this year; pricing is yet to be determined.