Indoor air quality affects everyone, but many of us take it for granted.
From workplaces and retail spaces to restaurants and long-term care facilities, any air-conditioned or heated space needs good ventilation. Proper airflow in indoor spaces is also critical for curbing the spread of airborne viruses such as COVID-19, especially as more and more of these communal places open back up.
This visualization from mCloud looks at why indoor air quality matters, and unearths potential technical solutions that can help keep people safe and ensure businesses run smoothly.
Silent Threats: The Viral Potential of Airborne Viruses
Most respiratory diseases, including the flu virus and COVID-19 are transmitted through three typical methods.
- Contact Transmission
Through direct contact
- Droplet Transmission
Through close-proximity, large respiratory droplets
- Airborne Transmission
Through small droplets suspended in air
It’s this last factor in particular to keep an eye out for. In a study, over half (53%) of flu patients produced aerosol particles of the virus while coughing—and viral droplets can travel more than 10 meters when exhaled by an infected person. In addition, pollutants and other small particles are 2-5x more concentrated indoors.
While most respiratory diseases are preventable, it’s clear that handwashing and social distancing are not enough. Alongside other measures, experts recommend improved ventilation to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in indoor spaces.
Avoid Sick Building Syndrome with Good Indoor Air Quality
Prior to the pandemic, 157 million people in the U.S. workforce spent the majority of their waking hours in shared areas like offices, stores, and more. In fact, there are 5.9 million commercial buildings in the U.S. alone, totaling 97 billion ft².
Within these indoor spaces, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems help to keep the air fresh. But have you ever gone to work and realized that there’s a flu bug that everyone seems to be catching? Poor air flow could be the culprit behind what’s called “Sick Building Syndrome”….[ ]