There is nothing more refreshing than stepping out of your car after arriving in the mountains. The cool crisp air fills your lungs and welcomes you with the scent of fresh pine. You just can’t help but take deep breaths.
Unfortunately, it’s not the same thing downtown Calgary. The city might not deal with mass amounts of smog, but car pollutants, dust and even your HVAC system are causing air quality issues in your condo.
Here’s how to tackle what you can’t see.
What Does Poor Air Quality Look Like?
In most ways, you can’t actually see what your air quality looks like unless you’ve got dust bunnies galore!
Poor air can be more of a feeling. Does your condo feel stuffy or stale? Are your residents complaining of it feeling too dry or too humid? Is it causing you to wheeze or sneeze? Or is it often smelly or smoky when your unit owners cook?
All of these are signs that you can and should improve your airflow.
How Do You Know What’s Harming Your Air Quality?
First off, your condo’s HVAC systems should be set up to move air through your building. It will balance positive and negative pressure to keep your building’s air at the right humidity level and keep the right air in the right place.
Positive air pressure can push your cooled or heated air out of the building and can even build up enough strength to swing doors open.
Negative air pressure can act similarly but it can also cause backdrafts with your cooking appliances which causes a buildup of deadly fumes in your units.
Balancing your air pressure is the first thing you can do to increase the quality. Your HVAC professional will look at how heat moves throughout your building, how well your exhaust fans are working, make sure your ducts aren’t leaking and check your air conditioning unit settings.
Once they’ve looked at all of your HVAC systems they can recommend maintenance and perform a cleaning to keep everything working well.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality?
There are a lot of simple ways you can create cleaner air in your condo building.
Follow these steps to move towards cleaner air:
- Dress up your common areas with house plants that are known to help purify the air
- Put mats at your entrances to reduce the amount of dirt coming in off the street
- Open any common area windows or if you have a concierge leave your lobby doors open when possible — outdoor air is actually cleaner and better for you
- Place carbon monoxide detectors in your hallways and test them regularly
- Run your building’s AC and change the filter frequently — this circulates dirty air in, filters it and pumps clean air back out
- Use essential oils in a diffuser instead of air freshener, which can be filled with harmful chemicals
- Don’t allow smoking in the building and clearly mark designated outdoor smoking areas
Most importantly, keep on top of your cleaning schedule. Your cleaners will keep dust and dirt to a minimum and stop mould from growing in damp areas like your common laundry or garbage rooms.
When paired with maintenance services, your crew will replace your AC and air purifier filters and liaise with your HVAC vendor to keep everything in working order.
Talk to us about our cleaning and concierge services.
How Can Your Residents Help You?
Tackling air quality on your own can feel like an uphill battle when you don’t have your resident buy-in. Suggest these tips to them to help improve the building’s air overall.
Your residents can help the overall building by:
- Cleaning their cooking vents within their units
- If they must use candles, ensure they’re clean-burning candles like beeswax
- Don’t use space heaters or wood/natural gas fireplaces
- Dust their homes regularly and clean their floors
- Test their carbon monoxide alarms
- Air out their units by opening the windows in warmer months (during the winter this can burst your pipes, leaving you with a whole other issue to solve)
Each Small Step Makes a Difference
Improving your air quality isn’t an overnight fix. It’s going to take work to get it to where you can breathe easy.
Try each one of the suggestions above, have your HVAC team do an audit and a cleaning, then have your cleaning team start you off with a deep clean followed by a regular cleaning schedule.
The more you keep on top of it, the easier it will be to maintain.