Special Report: Indoor Air Quality

Breathe easy—there are solutions for air quality issues



The air we breathe is very much like an offensive lineman in football: We don’t pay any attention unless something goes wrong.

As it turns out, a lot CAN go wrong with air. On hot days it can hang on you like a wet overcoat, making every movement exhausting and difficult. The temperature inside many plants can soar, especially older plants and especially in the summer. It’s unhealthy at a basic cardiovascular level, but there’s also a mobility and safety issue. Condensation creates a slippery plant floor, and that can turn concrete into hot ice—a dangerous situation that’s hard to spot.

You also have to be aware of air pressure within your building. With bay doors open and air moving around large spaces, the air pressure can change in an instant. In plants where the environment is a vital part of the operational machinery, that can create dangers from a production and safety aspect as well.

Finally, there's air quality at a basic level— removing the particulates and impurities that every plant must deal with. Dust and dirt clog lungs, of course, but they can clog equipment, too. Neither one should suffer; but both can affect your operational efficiency while driving up your costs.

Yet as we said at the outset, we normally don’t give air a second thought. This month, we did. We’ve collected five different perspectives on air quality, from the technology and science behind draft fans to a couple of looks at the use and usefulness of HVLS fans to the important issues of dust collection and air filtering that can impact the short-term and long-term health of workers in any facility.

In each article, the goal is to make you think a little about the air you and your co-workers breathe within a plant each day, and how that air affects your operational success.

Following through on these ideas can turn air into another efficient part of your operation.

Click on the photos and the links below to see how.

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