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Indoor air quality: The five questions you should ask employees

An article in the latest issue of Facilities Management Journal (‘Breathe Easy’ – July 2017) highlights the recent shift towards employee wellbeing in the indoor air quality (IAQ) debate.

The piece points to the fact that staff costs typically make up 90 per cent of a building-based business’s spending, while stating that facilities managers should engage with employees in order to help assess the state of IAQ in their workplace.

As a supplier, installer and service provider for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, here at Gibbons we believe there are five key questions that FMs should ask staff:

  • Do you notice unpleasant odours in the building?
  • Do you sneeze and cough excessively at work?
  • Have you seen mould growth on walls or ceilings?
  • Is the building temperature comfortable?
  • Do you suffer from headaches at work?

The answers to these questions can reveal much about employee health and wellbeing and the building’s IAQ. If there is a pattern of staff feeling unwell or uncomfortable at work, then HVAC equipment may be in need of attention.

This is because the cooling coil element of an HVAC system’s air handling unit (AHU) is a breeding ground for bacteria, mould and viruses. As dust and dirt particles become attached to the sticky mould on coil fins and tubes, a substance known as biofilm forms which inhibits HVAC system performance.

More worryingly, microbial contaminants from the biofilm are recirculated through the building via ductwork, exposing staff to the risk of infection and respiratory problems.

Among Gibbons’ range of air-handling products is CoilCare®, a chemical-free system that applies the disinfecting power of ultraviolet C (UVC) band light to an AHU’s cooling coil. This removes existing biofilm and prevents new biofilm from developing and can be applied to new or existing HVAC systems.

CoilCare® is suitable for commercial offices, healthcare, hospitality, educational facilities and food processing.

For more information on the CoilCare® system from Gibbons Ultraviolet Solutions, call Colin Hardman on 07940 544206 or email

HVAC Services, Ultraviolet Solutions

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