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IAQ and HVAC Considerations: Improving Occupant Health

IAQ and HVAC Considerations: Improving Occupant Health

This starts by monitoring the effectiveness of your commercial HVAC system and the impact it has on indoor air quality, or IAQ.

More and more businesses are starting to reopen, even on a limited basis. Considering present circumstances, ensuring the health and safety of all employees and customers who enter your building is paramount. This starts by monitoring the effectiveness of your commercial HVAC system and the impact it has on indoor air quality, or IAQ. 

The Problem of Poor IAQ 

Most of the time, sneezing, coughing, and runny noses are common seasonal allergies. But indoor air quality can aggravate these allergies and that’s why it’s important to ensure that your building has good ventilation and IAQ, especially in the age of COVID. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, fifty percent of all illnesses are either caused by or irritated by the presence of poor IAQ. By implementing IAQ solutions, businesses can increase their performance by 10% according to the Department of Energy. Thus far, COVID-19 has not been proven to be transmittable through HVAC systems. However, virus particles could last longer than anyone expects them to. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate that impact as we will see later on. 

HVAC System Impact 

Well-designed HVAC systems, especially in commercial settings, do more than provide heating and cooling as needed. It is also meant to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the building to ensure healthy levels of indoor air quality. Without proper maintenance and cleaning, the HVAC system could have more of a negative impact on the air quality than you might think. For example, neglect can lead to moisture and humidity build-ups which in turn lead to the proliferation of mold and mildew. The presence of mold and mildew is harmful enough, but it can also breed more germs and bacteria and keep it circulating through your air conditioning longer than it should be allowed to do so.

Better System Design 

Better system design hinges on better ventilation. It removes carbon dioxide, eliminates foul odors, and also removes contaminants. Occasionally, fixing ventilation problems is simple – it just calls for expert HVAC technicians to move intakes or move ductwork as needed. Controlling humidity is also part of this design factor – condensate and drain lines must be kept clear.  

Considering COVID-19 Mitigation 

One way to improve COVID-19 mitigation measures is to use high-efficiency filters to enhance IAQ. Before deciding to install these filters, speak to HVAC experts, such as the team at Crockett Facilities to see if it will benefit your building. 

Air cleaning products that use UV light might also be useful. This technology can kill viruses and eliminate airborne particles. However, they are not one hundred percent effective. In any case, they should be used alongside measures such as wearing masks, washing hands, and practicing social distancing. 

Crockett Facilities Can Help!

Crockett Facilities Services, Inc. (CFSI) is committed to helping building owners, property managers, engineers, and facility professionals navigate the post-COVID-19 environment.  We can develop a cost-effective, customized program for your building that will mitigate the potential health risks of COVID-19.  Click Here to Request a Quote

To learn more about the importance of reopening your building safely, please contact us at 202.600.2787 or mford@crockett-facilities.com. Our PM contract customers receive priority service with 24/7 emergency service in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!

 

This entry was posted on Friday, July 24th, 2020 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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