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HVAC System Maintenance And Indoor Air Quality

A poorly maintained HVAC system is not just ineffecient, it is also unsafe. Keeping your HVAC running smooth is a matter of safety.

HVAC systems produce heat, cool the air, and provide ventilation in your facility. Even in challenging environmental conditions, HVAC systems can provide appropriate temperature control for safe working conditions. However, HVAC systems are not just for providing thermal comfort for your employees. HVAC systems also control indoor air quality by eliminating excess humidity, odors, and contaminants through replacement with outside air.

Poor air quality can cause serious health concerns. Air within buildings may actually be more polluted than outdoor air. Tobacco smoke, cleaning chemicals, pesticides, and emissions from building materials, furnishings and office equipment, are all common sources of indoor air pollution. Moisture and humidity problems in buildings can also lead to health problems. High humidity indoors can contribute to the growth of mold. Some molds produce mycotoxins, which are toxins produced by fungus that can be hazardous if ingested, inhaled, or touched. Controlling moisture levels is a key factor in preventing mold and maintaining indoor air quality.

Outdoor air that is drawn into buildings may contain dust, particulates and allergens which may be the cause of many health issues such as respiratory problems, allergies, disease, and effects from exposure to toxins. A well designed HVAC system improves indoor air quality through proper ventilation, effective filtration and humidity control to remove moisture, dust, airborne bacteria, odors, smoke, particulates, allergens, carbon dioxide, and to replenish oxygen. Proper ventilation is one of the most important factors in maintaining good indoor air quality in facilities.

When HVAC systems are not properly maintained they can become a source of contamination. Improperly operating or poorly maintained HVAC systems can contribute to 'sick building syndrome' where workers suffer health conditions due to unhealthy working environments. HVAC systems must be properly maintained to promote good indoor air quality.

To keep the HVAC system in your facility continuing to provide high quality indoor air, appropriate cleaning and maintenance should be proactively scheduled. Because HVAC systems play an important role in providing a comfortable and productive workplace, maintenance of those HVAC systems should be a priority. Proper operation and maintenance of HVAC systems requires that units, controls, fans, ductwork, and piping are all easily accessible and properly labeled. Labeling is an important part of every maintenance program. Accurate labels, placed in the proper locations, provide important information that assists workers in the proper operation and maintenance of HVAC systems in every facility.

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Tags: HVAC safety, HVAC safety labeling, HVAC safety maintenance