Indoor humidity can be a daily issue at workplaces, hampering employees’ regular performance. It’s more common than you think; many workplaces have been flagged for not doing anything about excess humidity inside office spaces – causing major concentration, focus, and many other issues for their workforce.
An average employee is expected to work over 40 hours a week, and such long hours in a humid room can also put their health at risk. With so many downsides, we want to draw your attention towards solutions – ways to control humidity in your workplace to improve work culture, prevent health risks, and boost the business’s overall performance.
- Fatigued and Sluggish – Humidity makes us sweat excessively, making a person over-tired and sluggish. Extreme humidity can also cause respiratory issues.
- The body is always heated – this is very uncomfortable, especially if you’re at your workplace. Our bodies cannot cool off, as humid air is not the greatest for absorbing moisture. Sweating too much at work can distract you from your duties and make you feel uncomfortable around your colleagues. You are forced to worry about how to remove sweat smells and bad odors at work.
- Environmental effects: High humidity levels impact employee health and comfort. In indoor spaces suffering from extreme humidity, there’s a high chance that they are exposed to molds and milder, making it easier for pests to thrive. This can create major hygiene issues in the workplace.
You need to identify the problems you and your colleagues face due to humidity. Do you have humidifiers set up inside your premise? Do you have visible molds on the walls? It’s important to identify the problems and devise a plan to correct them.
Commercial buildings demand distinctive environmental needs, some more than others, depending on the infrastructure. This makes it mandatory for individual spaces to turn to tailored solutions to control humidity levels. Let’s identify some of the common causes and scenarios.
Humidity is strongly associated with airflow or circulation in indoor spaces. The air that enters the building through ventilation systems can increase humidity significantly, burdening HVAC equipment and deranging air controls. In such cases, dehumidifying solutions must be considered to eliminate the moisture inside the buildings and closed rooms.
Such infrastructural damages allow moisture to infiltrate the physical separators of the building during construction and occupancy. This means that the building science and indoor climate control of water and air resistance becomes trapped, leading to molds. Furthermore, building envelope failures can also be the root cause of wall damage, and roof and window leaks, forcing the air to be trapped and hindering humidity levels.
3. Wintertime Is The Biggest Culprit
It’s common to face humidity problems any time of the year. However, wintertime is the major culprit for trapping humid air. This primarily happens because the cold air outside makes us turn up heater facilities indoors, causing the indoor air to circulate in a closed space. Heated air reduces moisture in the air, drying up the atmosphere around us. Some common symptoms of extreme humidity levels during winter are dry skin, throat irritation, itchiness, breathing difficulties, dry eyes, etc. Employees with symptoms of asthma or any other respiratory allergies suffer the most during winter.
Maintaining controlled humidity levels indoors can be challenging. In most cases, identifying and opting for solutions can be costly. An office facility’s infrastructure is hard to tailor. Commercial buildings must include dehumidification systems to remove infiltration caused by building envelope failures, condensation, and any external humidity trapped from internal sources.
The goal should be to install dedicated humidification equipment to stabilize the air and offer self-operated cooling cycles. This brings us to practical solution techniques that you can consider to eliminate humidity gain in workplaces and improve indoor air quality too.
In an office setting, air conditioning facilitates a lower humidity level by reducing moisture from indoor air. It is necessary to ensure that the air-con system is well maintained all year long so that it functions properly. To give you a heads up, hire a professional to service the commercial air-conditioning once in six months to boost its efficiency.
As soon as you spot any spills or leaks from sources such as walls, roofs, and windows, they should be addressed immediately, as they are primary contributors to humidity levels. Additionally, they can also cause the growth of mildew and molds, putting the employee’s health at risk.
Wet carpets from leaks should also be dried out right away; it’s not any different for spills from plumbing issues. It should all be cleaned up immediately, as bacteria and viruses in highly humid spaces can start to form and spread rapidly. Get in touch with experts right away if required.
Install commercial dehumidifiers for large office spaces; remember that small dehumidifiers will not work for an open office space. Hire experts to set up whole-structured dehumidifiers to divert the airflow. These devices are fantastic for removing air moisture and rerouting it from the air-conditioner. This also ensures that the air conditioner is not slurping up the humid air, which can often cause the AC unit to lose efficiency.
Employees exposed to dampened office spaces caused by extreme humidity levels over a long period of time are likely to experience health issues. Employee health problems also directly impact their performance levels, having major business consequences. Some health issues may include respiratory, asthma, and fungal diseases.
Studies have suggested that reducing humidity levels in the office positively impacts the overall office environment, reducing office absenteeism and improving the work culture.