Assessing Indoor Air Quality in Manufacturing Facilities

With winter approaching, an indoor air quality assessment for factories, manufacturing facilities, and industrial environments will ensure that the air quality within your facility meets specific standards and guidelines for health and safety. Poor air quality within a plant, in general, but especially during cold weather, relates to the quality and effectiveness of a facility’s dust collection system and can adversely affect productivity and efficiency. Having an indoor air quality certification of your dust collection system before the season turns can identify any dangerous or harmful airborne particles and pollutants that could compromise the health and well-being of workers, personnel, vendors, and visitors. 

Assessing Indoor Air Quality: How Dust Collectors Can Help

As the phrase suggests and as the EPA defines, indoor air quality, or IAQ as it’s commonly referred to, is the measure of air quality within and around the enclosed spaces of a building as it “relates to the health and comfort of its occupants.” IAQ is as much a goal as it is a standard.  Regarding manufacturing facilities, air quality within the plant or factory must comply with the OSHA General Duty Clause, which mandates that places of employment must be “free of recognized hazards” that could cause or lead to serious physical harm or death to employees. 

In industrial environments, where particulates and gases are byproducts of manufacturing processes released into the air, industrial dust collection systems are employed to make certain that the air quality inside does not significantly impact the health, comfort, and productivity of workers, as well as on the quality of products being manufactured. It makes sure that the company complies with federal and local regulations. More importantly, dust collection systems help maintain air quality and contribute to a more comfortable and productive work environment. In the winter, when workers spend more time indoors, clean air can improve working conditions and reduce absenteeism due to health issues relating to poor air quality. 

Adequate Ventilation

One of the main challenges for manufacturing facilities in winter is adequate ventilation throughout the building. As the weather gets colder, any natural ventilation within a building is reduced to conserve heat. With doors and windows shut inside, under such conditions, airborne contaminants become more concentrated and, without an effective dust collection system to help mitigate the problem, would otherwise accumulate and potentially become a hazard.

Though industrial dust collectors play a vital role in maintaining IAQ in factories all year, they are especially effective in winter. They are designed to capture and remove airborne dust, particles, and contaminants generated by manufacturing processes. For those manufacturing facilities situated in colder climates, during the winter months, specific challenges arise that can affect the indoor air quality of the plant. Without a properly functioning dust collection system, enclosed facilities are prone to the accumulation of particulate matter circulating within the building.

Increased Efficiency

Another advantage of having an indoor air quality assessment before winter to ensure that your dust collection system is running smoothly is keeping equipment and machinery operating optimally. Otherwise, dust and particles can settle on or in machinery and equipment, impairing or reducing performance, leading to breakdowns, maintenance issues, and increased energy consumption. Maintaining efficient operation is crucial during the winter season when equipment may already be strained due to cold temperatures. Dust collection systems help keep equipment clean to ensure they run as intended throughout the season.

Energy efficiency is another benefit of having an indoor air quality assessment. Because dust collection systems play an important role in recirculating not only filtered air but warm filtered air, having your system running at peak efficiency can help maintain a comfortable temperature indoors during the winter while helping to conserve energy. An efficiently run system can lead to cost savings on heating and ventilation. 

Industrial dust collectors provide a constant, year-round solution for maintaining indoor air quality in manufacturing facilities. In the winter months, it’s essential to ensure that your system is properly maintained, protected against cold weather, and combined with other climate control and air quality management measures to ensure a healthy and safe working environment.

Contact the Experts at CPE Filters, Inc.

CPE Filters, Inc., offers extensive dust collector services, including onsite evaluations, to accurately assess your facility’s air quality and help determine any specific needs for your dust collection system. We help ensure your IAQ meets OSHA requirements for workers and personnel and meets or exceeds today’s stringent environmental air pollution requirements. To find out more information about having one of CPE Filters’ experienced professionals conduct an indoor air quality assessment at your facility, contact us today