Healthy Buildings Guide for Small Businesses: A Quick Reference to Improve Indoor Air Quality (Restaurants Excluded)

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


Indoor air pollutant concentrations can be higher than those outdoors, putting occupants at risk. These pollutants come from a variety of sources: materials used to build and furnish indoor spaces, retail products and services, and occupants themselves. Ventilation, temperature, and humidity also affect indoor air quality. It is important to consider the documented benefits of healthy indoor environments at any time – not just during a public health crisis – and it is key to consider the indoor air quality where we do business as well as at home. Small businesses vary in size, services, products, ownership style, and building mechanical systems, yet all benefit from healthy indoor spaces for employees and customers. This guide provides steps, in conjunction with public health guidance, that small businesses can take to improve and maintain indoor air quality. Small businesses often have unique ownership structures – the building owner and business owner can be different parties – so this guide addresses both building and business owner action items. There are many ways to pursue healthy indoor air, including eliminating, minimizing, and/or controlling the contaminants we bring in, and removing or diluting any existing contaminants through ventilation, filtration, air cleaning, and/or disinfection. Best results are achieved through a comprehensive approach combining various strategies, including those discussed in this guide.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

See NREL/FS-5500-83911 for Spanish version.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5500-82174


  • air filtration
  • HVAC
  • indoor air quality
  • pollutants
  • small business


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