Now that we are in September, many people like to enjoy the crisp autumn weather by grilling outside or even just taking a stroll around the neighborhood or park. However, people are spending more time inside than they are outside, especially now with people quarantining and trying to social distance.
It is often assumed that being indoors is a safe and healthy place for people who have health issues, but this actually puts them more at risk. Why? Because air movement inside is much lower and only a percentage of the air is fresh. Not to mention, there are many sources that can contribute to indoor air pollution such as printers and copiers, insulation, carpet, furniture made from pressed wood, cleaning chemicals, and dust from building occupants. And in industrial buildings, the pollution sources may also come from the machinery and the dust or debris created during the manufacturing process. Because the pollution is often held inside, it is constantly blown around through the facility’s HVAC system. This allows the ducts to become a breeding ground for dangerous pollutants such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungus. These toxins will grow inside of a dirty ductwork and can cause devastating harm to those with weakened immune systems.
Bacteria and Viruses
Certain types of bacteria and viruses can travel through the air to spread infections. Damp and dirty spaces allow for accumulation and breeding of many of these bacteria and viruses, and ventilation systems easily spread these disease causing organisms around. Making sure ventilation systems are moving clean, filtered air efficiently is the best way to prevent the spread of these diseases, and prevent employees from becoming unnecessarily sick.
Mold and Mildew
Many people have mold in their HVAC system without even realizing it. Mold and mildew thrive in dark, humid, dirty areas, and dusty and inefficient ventilation is a perfect spot for them to grow. Inhaling these spores can cause a range of health issues including asthma, allergic illness, respiratory infection, and in severe cases toxic poisoning. Reactions to these mold spores can be headaches, coughing, and Irritation of the eyes or throat. Making sure air duct ventilation is dry and clean is the best way to prevent mold in air ducts.
Dust mites are prevalent in dirty ductwork, where they feed off of organic matter within dust. These tiny dust mites cause severe allergic reactions in some people, caused by the excrement and dried shells of the creatures being blown through the ventilation system. The best way to eliminate dust mite colonies in your ventilation system is to keep it clean, free of dust, and dry.
Cleaning your facility’s ductwork is the first step in removing airborne contaminants and allergens out of the air they breathe. Duct cleaning is an important part of keeping an environment safe and healthy for everyone that enters through your doors. Since, the ductwork is out of sight, it is often out of mind and may not regularly be cleaned. But a dirty ductwork is the perfect breeding ground for mites, mold, bacteria, viruses, and other poisons that are toxic to the environment.
On top of that, according to the EPA, a buildup of just 0.42″ of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease of efficiency of 21%. Dirty ductwork can load filters quickly and lead to more stress on the air handler and potentially higher energy costs. Blockages in reheat coils, mixing boxes, VAV boxes and other terminal boxes found in commercial HVAC systems can also restrict airflow. So, if facility’s ducts have not been cleaned and the system is running less efficiently it can lead to poor indoor air quality, which can cause employees to become sick.
It’s hard enough trying to quarantine and social distance from everyone, and to make matters worse, getting sick on top of that isn’t much fun. Fortunately, regular HVAC cleaning for commercial and industrial facilities can significantly help reduce the levels of these pollutants and increase indoor air quality.
Worried the indoor air quality in your building might be effecting your employees? Contact Us Here or call us at 888-845-3952 to find out how Hughes Environmental can help give your facility fresh, clean air to breathe again.