Although there is an increase in awareness and concern about pollution in the atmosphere, it is also assumed that being inside will help keep you safe and healthy. Unfortunately, indoor air will often have higher levels of contamination than outdoor air. 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. In industrial buildings, the pollution sources may also come from the machinery and the dust or debris created during the manufacturing process.
How To Improve Your Facility's Indoor Air Quality
Whether your building is a manufacturing facility, a university, school, hospital, or office building, these indoor air quality products and services should be included in your spring cleaning plan.
HVAC System Cleaning
Cleaning your facility's ductwork is the first step in removing airborne contaminants and allergens out of the air you breathe. Regular duct cleaning also improves airflow, allowing your facility’s HVAC system to run more efficiently. 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. Components of HVAC duct cleaning include:
- Supply & Return Ductwork
- Dedicated Exhaust Ductwork and Fans
- Air Handler Units
- Internally Lined Ductwork: Cleaning and Encapsulating (Sealing)
- Mold Remediation from all types of Ductworks
- VAV’s Reheat Coils, Mixing Boxes
- Filter Replacements
Since the ductwork is above the ceiling and typically out of sight, it’s easy to not think about having it cleaned. But a dirty ductwork is the perfect breeding ground for mites, mold, bacteria, viruses, and other poisons that are toxic to the environment. In addition, a study by ASHRAE found that a dirty HVAC system is up to 40% less efficient than a clean one. 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.
UVGI Light Disinfection
UVC Lighting is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions. UVC refers to ultraviolet light with wavelengths between 200 – 280 nanometers (nm). Light in the UVC wavelength can be used for disinfecting hospitals, sterilizing surfaces, destroying harmful micro-organisms in food products and in air. So how does it work?
These specialized lamps produce an ultraviolet (UV) light that disrupts growth and deactivates existing growths, aiding in the disinfection of surfaces, water and more. Using one in your facility can help improve everything from air quality to the health and well-being of your students, faculty and staff. By treating the air circulating in your heating and cooling system, UVC lighting can kill mold and destroy airborne viruses and bacteria that, ultimately, lead to colds, flus and other illnesses. Best UVC light disinfection practices include:
- In-duct UVGI Lighting
- UVC Lighting at the Coil
- Upper Air UVC
- Mobile Remote UVC Disinfection System
- Ceiling/Wall Mountable Germicidal UVC Systems
Air Purification Systems
Since many bacteria and viruses can be transmitted via airborne, attention must be focused on how to keep the air in your facility as clean as possible. IAQ is important not only to your employees, but to any visitor traffic your building receives. It is essential to have a way to purify the air from these toxic pollutants. The best way to do this is through the use of air purification systems, air scrubbing systems or air filters.
Air Purifiers – an air purifier is an air cleaning device that captures and kills contaminants within the purifier itself. Air purifiers use one or more filtration and air treatment methods to remove pollutants from the air. Air purifiers that use HEPA filtration can filter air particles down to 0.3 microns in size with a 99.97%.
- MA-14 Air Purifier
- MA-15 Air Purifier
- MA-22 Air Purifier
- MA-35 Air Purifier
- MA-40 Air Purifier
- MA-50 Air Purifier
- MA-112 Air Purifier
Air Scrubbers – an air scrubber is an air cleaning device that utilizes a sear and retrieve method to eliminate contaminants in the indoor air. Air scrubbers are also available with HEPA filtration, allowing you to filter air particles down to 0.3 microns in size at 99.97% efficiency rating.
- PuraShield 500 Molecular Air Scrubber
- PuraShield Smart 500 Molecular Air Scrubber
- PuraShield Smart 1000 Molecular Air Scrubber
In addition, air scrubbers are excellent for construction and healthcare organizations as they are highly effective at removing both airborne and settled dust and bacteria.
Air Filters – an air filter can only filter out particulate matter before it has time to spread into the air.
- PuraShield 500 Replacement Filter Cartridge
- PuraShield Smart 500 Replacement Filter Cartridge
- PuraShield Smart 1000 Replacement Filter Cartridge
Worried the indoor air quality in your building might be effecting your employees? Contact a Hughes Representative Here or call 888-845-3952 to find out how we can give you fresh, clean air to breathe again.
Working with Hughes, you can expect technicians that are trained, certified and up-to-date on common best practices. We have an OSHA trainer on staff, and our technicians have been through OSHA 10- or 30-hour training. We also have Council-certified Indoor Environmentalists (CIE) and Council-certified Microbial Remediators (CMR) on staff.
Hughes Environmental is a member of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) with multiple NADCA Certified “Air Systems Cleaning Specialists” on staff. We are also a member of the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), and the American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC) with multiple ACAC “Council Certified Microbial Remediators” and ACAC “Council Certified Indoor Environmentalists” on staff. In addition, Hughes is an ISNetworld(R) member contractor, as well as a member of the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association (IKECA). These memberships and certifications help us keep current with standard practices and any new regulations that are important to consider when performing cleaning projects, and help us demonstrate our ability and commitment to work safely.