HVAC Meets Data: Elevating Workspace Wellness With AQ and Fire Insights

May 15, 2024
2 min read
HVAC Meets Data: Elevating Workspace Wellness With AQ and Fire InsightsHVAC Meets Data: Elevating Workspace Wellness With AQ and Fire Insights
Content Writer

Managing one’s work life in rapidly urbanizing cities is already challenging. The last thing an office-goer needs in their lives is added health stressors. However, in recent years, increasing incidences of climate disasters– like smog and wildfires- have disrupted the day-to-day life of the working sector.

Climate changes and rapid urbanization are a dangerous duo that not only clouds the air we breathe but also places a hefty burden on energy resources.

The adverse health effects of poor air quality, from allergies and respiratory diseases to premature deaths, are not lost on anyone these days.

With work being such a big part of our lives– what can be done to make sure workplaces are environmentally safe?

As it turns out, environmental data perfectly aligns with these evolving concerns. Let's explore how air quality affects the workplace and what opportunities the HVAC industry can grab onto.

How important is the indoor office environment?

Be it work or leisure, people spend 90% of their time indoors. And when it comes to the workplace, the global average is more than 40 hours per week.

With air pollution playing a massive role in our lives, we all believe that staying indoors will protect us from the menace of outdoor pollution. But it’s not that simple.

According to WHO, the air indoors is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoors. In recent decades, building materials and poor ventilation designs have also become culprits in encouraging pollutant concentrations–adding a whole new layer to the issue.

Indoor pollution is just as–if not more alarming than outdoor pollution. Learn about the differences between indoor and outdoor air pollution here.

So, what are the effects of poor indoor air quality in the office?

To start off, being inside a building itself can have an effect on our psychology. The ‘sick building syndrome’ is experienced when one faces discomfort and symptoms only inside buildings. Many studies have also linked cognitive decline and low productivity to poor indoor environments.

The ill effects of poor air on mental health certainly cannot be overlooked. One of our partners, juli, utilizes our air quality and pollen intelligence to help customers manage their chronic health conditions better.

Productivity, too, takes a big hit.

A clean work environment is an important concern among employees working from the office. But It’s also just as important for employers.

$75 billion a year is lost in productivity due to adverse health effects caused by poor air quality in buildings in the United States.

This growing challenge does have a solution.

If we can monitor environmental conditions – like ongoing wildfires and pollutant concentrations, it’s possible to make workplace well-being an unyielding reality.

Here’s how we did it: How Brigade Increased Its Overall Employee Productivity & Workplace Wellness With Ambee

Reimagining workplace with real-time environmental data

Real-time environmental data can bridge the gap between knowledge and action. Among all parameters, thermal comfort and IAQ are essential for optimum health and productivity.

As urban air quality continues deteriorating, it’s crucial to note HVAC’s role in improving indoor air quality. The ventilation system is a primary tool for ensuring a safe building. 

HVAC with smart and automated controls can monitor indoor air quality in real-time and adjust ventilation rate, filtration, and purification processes accordingly. Accurate and reliable information about temperature, humidity, and the concentration of different pollutants like dust, pollen, PM2.5, and PM10 equips the HVAC system to adjust its operations.

As the threat of wildfires continues to intensify with record-breaking temperatures in 2023, it is crucial to consider the impact of smoke on HVACs. Thus, fire and smoke plume data with air quality are essential to monitor indoor wellness.

Integrating data into HVAC systems at the workplace will elevate air quality, resulting in a more productive and happy workforce. This is not just a recipe for success but also positions the companies as champions of a healthier work culture.

The presence of indoor pollutants can alter one’s quality of life. Thus, a ‘smart’ workplace is key to improved comfort, efficiency, and optimum resource utilization.

What makes a building ‘smart’?

A smart workplace is an office that uses technology to assist its employees grow and thrive. Mundane tasks are automated so people can make better use of their skills. One such example is the use of automation to control HVAC systems.

The workplace environment plays a pivotal role in employee productivity and well-being. As a result, the data-driven HVAC system is gaining popularity with a CAGR of 6.84%. It optimizes the living and working environment while reducing cost and environmental impact through reduced energy consumption.

Optimizing HVAC systems for your workplace

Did you know that aligning your office’s air quality with optimal standards can reduce your employees’ sick days by 35%? It’s true!

HVAC systems in workspaces equipped with IAQ sensors can help constantly monitor pollutants like PM2.5 and PM10. This helps prevent contaminants from entering indoor spaces during pollution spikes or wildfires. These systems can also activate air purifiers automatically to improve IAQ, ensuring a healthy environment for all.

Just like regular health checks for us, regular check-ups of the air filter maintain the HVAC’s efficiency. When air quality deteriorates, the system can trigger notifications to alert maintenance personnel to check and replace filters.

But that’s not all - it’s like your energy-savvy colleague, using real-time data to optimize ventilation and filtration rates while reducing energy consumption at the same time.

Accessing air quality historical data allows HVAC systems to analyze trends and patterns in air quality. In essence, Ambee’s API will enable the system to fine-tune HVAC settings in office buildings, plan maintenance schedules, and assess the impact of HVAC system changes on IAQ.

Must Read: Data-Driven Ventilation Optimization: How HVAC Businesses Can Lead the Way in Creating Healthier Indoor Environment | Ambee

Make sure your employees breathe safe air

As we step into the future of workplaces, a healthier work environment is essential to ensure a positive and sustainable future.

Ambee’s commitment to democratizing environmental intelligence extends to transforming the HVAC system for enhanced indoor air quality. Integrating real-time air quality, smoke, and wildfire data equips companies with actionable insights to optimize HVAC operations.

This integration empowers businesses to make informed decisions to create a healthier indoor environment. It increases productivity, revenue, and worker retention, making a return to office worthwhile.

Get in touch with us to make workspaces a better place.

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