Retail stores need good customer service requiring them to follow a lot of protocols. Air quality is something that is often overlooked. Here’s why it matters.
With the ongoing pandemic, regulations have been constantly evolving to maintain a safe and hygienic environment. However, there is not much that can be done against an invincible airborne enemy, especially when there is no proper sanitation. The air we breathe affects our health greatly, and the indoor air quality in retail stores is of the utmost importance. Here’s how you can improve your store’s environment in terms of safety as well as hygiene.
Indoor Air Quality Inside Stores
In retail stores, indoor air quality, or IAQ, has become a hot topic. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report in July 2020 that brought indoor air quality (IAQ) to the attention of businesses, unions, industry experts, and customers alike. This study outlines how the SARS-CoV-2, also known as COVID-19, can be spread quickly from person to person in congested indoor areas. It further said that by upgrading air filters across the property, IAQ in shops can be improved greatly.
What Exactly Is IAQ?
Without a proper supply of oxygen, the human body simply cannot function. The problem here is that there are several types of harmful pathogens in the air that can get inside through our mouth and nose and have a harmful effect on our bodies.
This is where indoor air quality (IAQ) comes in. IAQ is all about controlling and preventing those particles from coming inside the stores and removing them as effectively as possible. It also boosts the flow of clean air, so investing in technology that improves indoor air quality is essential. Here are a few gadgets that can help.
1. Electronic Air Cleaners
As the name suggests, this removes all the unwanted impurities from the air with electric charges. This does not reduce airflow and reduces the chances of pathogens and other contaminants getting into the store’s atmosphere. Make sure that your air purifier comes with a washable filter so that you can cut the costs of replacing the filters often. Furthermore, it comes with its own tools, so repairing it is also quite a simple procedure.
2. Humidity Sensors
Because bacteria and mold thrive in high-humidity environments, humidity is an important factor in preventing the spread of airborne pathogens. On the other hand, dry air can cause upper respiratory irritations in customers.
According to new research from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), a humidity level of 40 to 60 percent is ideal for reducing occupant exposure to infectious particles and viruses transmission. Stores and malls can create a healthier and more comfortable level of humidity using humidity sensors.
3. UV Lights
At the cellular level, ultraviolet (UV) light can damage the DNA structure of microorganisms. In laboratory tests, UV light has been shown to inactivate certain bacterial, viral, and fungal organisms, reducing their ability to replicate and spread disease.
Malls and stores can prevent pathogens from spreading to building occupants by deactivating biological contaminants growing on cooling coils using UV technology on the coils or in conjunction with an EAC within the HVAC system.
4. Air Purifiers
Although COVID-19 was said to bring about the death of retail stores, with time there have been ideas and regulations put into effect to prevent such a tragic thing from happening. We are seeing that retail stores are coming back post-COVID. That being said, people still need to wear masks and follow sanitary procedures.
Speaking of sanitary procedures, air purification devices can help reduce the chances of infectious viruses coming through the stores, and hence, the infection rates are also going down. Although living with COVID may be hard, it’s still something we will all need to get used to.
5. Control All Systems
Inside the retail store, there lies a control center that controls all sorts of things from ventilation to temperature and also maintains sustainable energy consumption. The priority of this control center is, of course, to minimize any form of harm caused to customers.
The HVAC system plays a big part in this process as it is the interface between the air outside and the air inside. Furthermore, economizers are an added feature of the HVAC system that runs diagnostics and reduces the time it takes to return air outside and take fresh air inside the facility.
As IAQ has always been an important consideration, there are some matters that require more attention. This is why communication is key. Whether it is between the internal members of the store or with feedback from customers about certain issues they may be facing, communication is necessary to maintain a high standard.
The store should also consider talking to professionals to make sure that their protocols are all up-to-date and their air filtration systems are capable of giving customers a time of great comfort while minimizing the risk of sickness. Making sure that the public health care system also prioritizes the safety of the customers will keep them happy and help in regaining trust which may have been lost for some people during the peak of the pandemic.
Furthermore, the owners of the businesses, the companies with technology to keep the customers safe, and the public health services should stay in constant communication to make sure that retail stores post-COVID can go back to what they were before.
Although COVID-19 was a massive global disaster, as time passes, the epidemic is sure to be left behind, and the economy of the world will continue to keep running, and so will retail stores using technology that will make it safer and safer every day. Especially knowing how retail stores can improve the quality of indoor air, the stores will be more aware and equipped to deal with any situation when it comes to consumer health and safety.