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Commercial Air Conditioning – Medical Facilities HVAC

The Importance Of HVAC Systems In Hospitals and Medical Facilities

HVAC hospital systems by commercial air conditioning specialists are designed to heat, cool and ventilate hospitals keeping in mind the unique requirements of a hospital. The HVAC system should ensure patient comfort but at the same time, it should ensure optimum infection control in the form of a pathogen-free environment that will optimize patient healing. This may seem like a simple thing to achieve through commercial air conditioning but it’s not.

In the last few years, the incidence of nosocomial infections and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections has been increasing according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM) where there is a plethora of information archived regarding biomedical and life sciences facts. Health care associated infections are considered to be the fourth largest cause of disease in developed countries and it is estimated that at least 5% of admitted patients develop nosocomial infections after a medical procedure. Based on this estimate, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated an annual loss of $5 billion spent to treat and control nosocomial infections.

These figures are astronomical but they do not include the loss in time, labor and effort required to treat infected patients. For this reason, specialists point out the necessity of an effective HVAC circulation system that will dilute and remove airborne contaminants and smells, while ensuring an optimum amount of heating and cooling. Improvements in the HVAC system by a professional commercial air conditioning specialist are very simple to implement and we’ve created a short checklist that should prove helpful.

Design of the HVAC system

An infection control specialist, commercial air conditioning specialist or an HVAC specialist should participate during the planning and construction of a new hospital or any additions. This will ensure that the system is up-to-code and includes all the latest modifications for infection control. However, in ready buildings, the role of an HVAC consultant or a commercial air conditioning specialist from D.B.A/C is to review the existing plan and add modifications that will meet the current standards. Considerations that are important while updating the HVAC system includes factors like –

• Adequate patient separation and air circulation around the patient to ensure sterility

• Traffic flow and HVAC arrangements around high-risk patients

• Ventilation for isolation rooms and special patient care areas like OTs and transplant rooms

A professional HVAC specialist or a commercial air conditioning specialist will be able to ensure that the hospital or medical facility HVAC system and equipment is up to date and properly optimized for infection control.

Ventilation requirements

Basic ventilation requirements for an HVAC system are by a commercial air conditioning specialist to ensure safety. Basic requirements for a hospital HVAC unit include a basic air velocity of 0.25 m/sec through a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. These filters are required all over the hospitals and they should have a micron filtration level of 0.3. The HVAC unit can be combined with laminar hoods to prevent transmission of water droplets. For OTs, the commercial air conditioning specialist will also set up a uni-directional airflow system with a minimum size of 9mm and an air-speed of at least 0.25m/s.

Maintenance and repair of the HVAC system: air conditioner repair

Even after an optimum HVAC system has been put in by a professional commercial air conditioning specialist, it is necessary to have the system maintained regularly. A professional air conditioner repair company is necessary to ensure that the system clean and up-to-date. Minimum requirements for HVAC air conditioner repair include the following –

1. The air conditioner repair technician will seal, caulk and replace gaskets to prevent and minimize air leaks. This will increase the efficiency of the system and ensure a closed circulation system.

2. The existing HEPA filters should be replaced regularly. An air conditioner repair technician will chose Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) filters. These filters will maximize filtration and remove more than 95% of particulate matter from the circulating air. Your air conditioner repair technician may recommend a pre-filter along with a filter to maximize filtration and it should be considered as an option.

3. The air conditioner repair technician will also place filters in the outdoor air intake areas to decrease exposure of outdoor contaminants into a sterile interior.

4. A filter gauge pressure indicator is necessary to ensure that the filter is not blocked. Clogged filters can actually be breeding areas for bacteria and regular inspections by an air conditioner repair technician are mandatory.

Please click to read more information from D.B.A/C regarding HVAC and medical facilities.