IAQ News

Breathe Easy: A Guide to Minimize Autumn Allergies in University Buildings

As the crisp autumn breeze ushers in a kaleidoscope of colors, it also brings with it a challenge for many individuals – allergies. For university students and staff, navigating through fall can be a sneeze-inducing endeavor. However, as an institutional facility manager, you have the power to create a healthier indoor environment and minimize autumn allergies, particularly by focusing on the air conveyance system. Understanding the Challenge to Minimize Autumn Allergies: Autumn allergies are triggered by airborne allergens like pollen, mold spores, and dust mites. These microscopic invaders can find their way into buildings, causing discomfort and health issues for occupants. To address this, let's delve into key strategies to optimize your campus buildings' air conveyance systems. HVAC Maintenance: The heart of any indoor environment is its Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and replacing filters, is crucial for preventing the buildup of allergens. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), ensure that your HVAC system is serviced at least twice a year, preferably before the ...

ASHRAE 241: HVAC Plays Key Role in Control of Infectious Aerosols

In today's world, ensuring the health and well-being of building occupants has become a top priority. One essential aspect of achieving this is maintaining optimal indoor air quality (IAQ) through clean and efficient ventilation systems. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers) Standard 241, "Control of Infectious Aerosols" establishes the minimum requirements to reduce the risk of airborne disease transmission in buildings. This standard applies to both new and existing buildings. It provides requirements for HVAC system design, installation, operation, and maintenance. While ASHRAE 241 is a comprehensive engineering document, the standard has four main topics that address the control of infectious aerosols. They are Infection Risk Management Mode, Requirements for Equivalent Clean Airflow Rate, Use of Filtration and Air Cleaning Technology, and Planning and Commissioning. Control of Infectious Aerosols with HVAC Of the four important topics in ASHRAE 241, two have a strong focus on the HVAC System. Per ASHRAE:
  • Requirements for Equivalent Clean Airflow Rate – Sets requirements for equivalent clean airflow rate target (in liters per second) per occupant of pathogen ...

Static Pressure Affects Airflow

It’s important to keep HVAC equipment clean and free of built-up dirt and debris. Hygienic duct cleaning and the disinfection of system components are also key to achieving proper indoor air quality. While this step assists facilities managers in their efforts to maintain healthy IAQ for occupants, static pressure is another consideration. Static pressure is used in the area of fluid mechanics. Put simply, it’s the resistance to airflow that occurs in HVAC ductwork and within the system itself. When static pressure is too high or low, this reveals a problem within the system. Identifying a problem allows managers to schedule repairs before a more serious problem occurs. It keeps the system running at peak performance which lowers operating costs. It also lengthens the lifespans of equipment. Static Pressure and How It Affects HVAC Systems From heating and cooling systems in the home to large HVAC units in commercial buildings, these systems all transport air. The ductwork also is the path for airflow in the system. The correct installation of these systems ensures proper operation. However, resistance ...

Healthier Spaces: The Role of Negative Air Machines in Duct Cleaning

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical concern for businesses and organizations that care about the well-being of their occupants. Poor IAQ leads to a range of health issues and impacts overall productivity. One essential tool used in commercial duct cleaning, like PURE-Duct, to enhance IAQ is the negative air machine. In this article, we'll explore what a negative air machine is, how it is utilized in duct cleaning, the type of filter it employs, and why it plays a crucial role in improving indoor air quality. What is a Negative Air Machine? A negative air machine, often referred to as a NAM or "air scrubber", is a powerful piece of equipment designed to create a controlled environment in which air is drawn into the machine and filtered before being expelled outside. Therefore, this machine is an integral part of the commercial duct cleaning process, and it adheres to the guidelines and standards set forth by organizations like the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The ...

The Building Facade and Indoor Air Quality: Methods and Solutions

The building facade serves as its protective shield against external elements, but its significance extends beyond aesthetics and weather protection. It plays a crucial role in determining the indoor air quality (IAQ) within the building. Poorly designed or maintained facades can lead to a host of IAQ issues, which can negatively affect the health and productivity of building occupants. In this article, we will explore how a commercial building's facade affects IAQ, discuss methods for testing indoor air quality, and delve into corrective actions that can be taken to ensure optimal IAQ and energy efficiency. The Facade-IAQ Connection The building facade plays a crucial role in maintaining indoor air quality. It serves as the first line of defense against outdoor pollutants, moisture, and temperature fluctuations. A well-maintained facade not only enhances a building's aesthetics but also contributes to a healthier indoor environment. How the Facade Impacts IAQ 1. Air Infiltration: Gaps, cracks, or poorly sealed windows and doors in the facade can allow outdoor air contaminants, such as pollen, dust, and pollutants, to infiltrate indoor spaces. 2 ...

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