The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that the average American spends roughly 90 percent of their time indoors, especially during winter months when weather is less predictable. This makes indoor air quality (IAQ) a concern within facilities.

Indoor air in the workplace may harbor unhealthy contaminants, some of which can lead to asthmatic conditions, carbon monoxide poisoning or worse. But, according to the Indianapolis Recorder, there are steps janitorial teams can take to keep the air clean when winter keeps the windows closed.

It’s not only closed windows that can cause issues, HVAC units can emit carbon monoxide. It is important to make sure these units are properly maintained. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, properly functioning HVAC systems can reduce the pollutants that cause most IAQ problems.

Cleaning workers should be on the lookout for contaminants such as mold, which thrive in wet and dirty areas. Maintaining strict cleaning schedules throughout the workplace, particularly those that tend to attract moisture, can keep molds at bay.

Carpets are just one area that could harbor mold. After cleaning, make sure carpets are dried properly to prevent recoiling and/or the potential for mold growth.

Whether wet or dry, carpets act as a sponge for dirt, which can then get churned up into the air occupants breath. Prevent this by maintaining strict and consistent vacuum schedules and using equipment with proper filtration, limiting what is sent back up into the air.

Also pay attention to chemicals used throughout the facility. Some can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, causing irritation for many building occupants. Instead of harsh chemicals, consider green certified cleaning chemicals, which are formulated to be easier on the air quality inside of the workplace.