5 Signs Your Office Has Bad Indoor Air Quality

One doesn’t usually think of an office as a harmful place to work. There’s the possibility of death from boredom, maybe, but other than the dull repetition of cubicle life, what could be there to be feared? Here’s a hint: It’s not death by a thousand paper cuts, or by getting your toe rolled over by wheeling computer chairs. It’s the air you breathe. Here are five ways to know if your building’s air is quality or not.


Excess dust and allergens in the air are signs that your HVAC system is not filtering properly. This is not something hard to stay ahead of; just make sure your HVAC unit is properly serviced and cleaned as needed. You can change your air filters yourself — make it part of your routine. You don’t want employees sneezing all day, not being able to focus on their work, or calling off all the time because they hate coming to work.

The filter on your heating and cooling system should be changed all year long. A lot of people make the mistake of only changing it when the air conditioner is running. You’ll also need to make sure you’re using the right type of filter. Using a HEPA filter is an effective way to improe indoor air quality. However, not all HVAC systems are compatible with HEPA filters. An HVAC specialist can inspect your system to determine the most appropriate filter to use.


If there is a musty smell in the air, that is often a sign of mold, which can cause many health issues. Stuffy and stale are the two key words when trying to smell out a mold issue. If that’s the scent that assaults your nostrils when coming into the office, then you need to find the areas that are humid or wet. That’s where mold prefers to grow, so you’ll have to try and dry these spaces out.

Health Problems

You want to catch poor indoor air before health symptoms start to show. They can range from coughs and bloody noses to nausea, fatigue, rashes, and so much more if mold spores are being circulated. Whatever the ailments, they’re not something you want to be liable over. Also, sick employees don’t work at their prime, so it’s better to fix the issues leading to poor airflow than not. You’ll be making more money in the long run by doing so.

Before you do sink the money into fixing something like this, rule out any other environmental issues that could be causing the same symptoms. Find out if there is or has been construction in your building or nearby, if anyone has painted recently, or if the building has been fumigated. All of these can cause the same symptoms as mold.


If you or someone in your home is having a lot of headaches, this is an indication of possible poor indoor air quality. A good way to tell if the quality of air is causing these headaches is to observe when and where they occur. If they occur only at home, this means something in your house is causing them.  The underlying problem could be the result of large amounts of dust or allergens in the air. It could also be that your home has poor humidity levels.

It’s also important to note if the headaches only occur after spending time in a certain room in your home. If so, you’ll know to focus on improving the quality of air in that specific room. It could be something as simple as a certain kind of candle causing your headaches. A professional HVAC specialist can help pinpoint the exact source of the problem.

Inconsistent Air Flow

Inconsistent air flow can be diagnosed by noticing if certain areas in the building are colder or more humid than others. If this is true, then there is more than likely an issue with your HVAC system in the building. Constant temperature changes can wear on a body, but if there are humidity problems, this can lead to mold. So, temporary solutions can be dehumidifiers or humidifiers (if the air is too dry).

Poor indoor air revolves around the HVAC system. The signs aren’t hard to find, and there are companies out there that can help you fix them. If there is an issue, your HVAC system need needs to be repaired as soon as possible, otherwise employees, as well as yourself, could experience extreme health issues.