The performance and subjective responses of call-center operators with new and used supply air filters at two outdoor air supply rates

Pawel Wargocki, David Wyon, Povl Ole Fanger

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A 2X2 replicated field intervention experiment was conducted in a call-center providing a telephone directory service: outdoor air supply rate was adjusted to be 8% of the total airflow of 430 l/s (3.5/h)and the supply air filters were either new or had been in place for 6 months. One of these independent variables was changed each week for 8 weeks. The interventions did not affect room temperature, relative humidity or noise level. The 26 operators were blind to conditions and each week returned questionnaires recording their environmental perceptions and Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms. Their performance was continuously monitored by recording the average talk-time every 30 min. Replacing a used filter with a clean filter reduced talk-time by about 10% at the high ventilation rate but had no significant effect at the low rate. Increasing the outdoor air supply rate reduced talk-time by 6% with a new filter in place but increased talk-time by 8% with a used filter in place. The interventions also had significant effects on some SBS symptoms and environmental perceptions. The present results indicate that increasing outdoor air supply rate and replacing filters can have positive effects on health, comfort and performance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor Air
Issue numberSuppl. 8
Pages (from-to)7-16
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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