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Ways To Make Your Commercial Building’s Indoor Air Smell Less Like Work and More Like a Forest After a Storm

Okay, So Maybe At Least Just Less Stuffy, Anyway

Does your office building smell like this?

The weather has been beautiful lately here in Southern California. While anyone who works in a commercial office building can tell you that it’s sure nice to be inside when the weather isn’t so great in the San Gabriel Valley, we do hear from a lot of people when the air outside is fresh and clean.

“My office is so stuffy!” they tell us.

Or, “why does the office air always have to smell like an old sock! Can you make it better?”

We can and we do. Here’s the secret: airflow. Office buildings with reduced airflow typically feel more oppressive and stuffy than buildings with lots of it. Knowing that, you can take immediate steps to improve airflow in your commercial building, even before you call us.

#1. Check for clutter around your outdoor unit.

It’s easy to occur, between weather, urban wildlife and even any maintenance people doing work around HVAC units that are placed outside or in an equipment room. Blockages can go undetected for weeks. Whether it’s from leaf debris, accumulated trash left outside or raccoons; check to make sure your condenser is free and clear, with plenty of airflow around it.

#2. Check for clutter around your indoor vents

Once again, it’s completely understandable. An office chair pushed against a vent or a large box on top of the floor register can make a big difference when it comes to ventilation. If your office or the entire floor smells stuffy, check from room to room to ensure nothing is preventing air from flowing to and from your HVAC system.

#3. Check for dirty ductwork or coils

Excessive dust or debris from a recent remodel or repair work can easily clog your system, creating serious ventilation problems and generating awfully weird smells. Furthermore, any cracks or damage to the ductwork itself can create blockages. And we don’t even want to discuss those critters from the outside that sometimes build warm, cozy nests inside the ducts themselves. It happens.

If you suspect you have a problem with your ductwork, call us for an inspection.  One caveat: you’ll want to take care to avoid those popular “ductwork-cleaning scams” that are so often advertised. Don’t get us wrong: if your ductwork is blocked, it should be cleaned and repaired to improve airflow and enhance office ventilation. But beware those services that will tell you this is a necessary and frequent task to maintain any HVAC system. It depends entirely on the inspection.

#3. Consider design and size.

Many contractors and commercial building owners think that the bigger the HVAC system the better. This isn’t always true. In fact, many spaces are heated and cooled far more effectively with a much smaller model than the one selected. If your commercial building has an HVAC system that is too big or too small for the size of your building, your ventilation and air quality will be affected. Schedule an immediate inspection with an HVAC professional, and they’ll provide suggestions on ways to mitigate this problem.

There are other possibilities too: a faulty thermostat, dirty filters, or even low refrigerant. But start with a little detective work. Have questions or you’re not sure you located the issue? Call Air-Tro for an inspection. So you may not have a pine tree in your lobby. Either way, you deserve to breathe fresh, clean air, even in your office building.


Looking for cost effective HVAC for your commercial building? Call Air-Tro, the name the San Gabriel Valley trusts for all their heating and air conditioning. Get in touch today at (626) 357-3535.