2020 has been a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic stressed the importance of indoor air quality on occupant health. While the coronavirus continues to complicate things, it is not the only challenge. Let’s take a look at some of the articles we provided on the top IAQ concerns of 2020 as well as the solutions we put forward to deal with them.
Preventing Flu Spread
The regular flu season did not take a break this year. In fact, the CDC now estimates that the 2019-2020 flu season resulted in as many as a half-million hospitalizations and 62,000 deaths. In early January, we advised building managers on how to protect their staff.
Protecting against flu infections is easier with prevention and awareness. Encouraging flu shots and limiting contact between staff help. Personal protective equipment is another effective tool. It’s also important to increase cleaning and sanitation services during this time. In particular, we discussed the need for increased cleaning of shared equipment and high-touch surfaces.
We also recommended our PURE-Decon room disinfection service as a way to kill 99.9 percent of germs. This method uses a dry mist of hydrogen peroxide and silver and leaves no residue behind. It addresses IAQ concerns and gets into areas not reached by other topical cleaners.
Also in January, we looked at Legionnaires’ disease, its long-term health effects, and the high cost for building owners. We pointed out that much of the public is unaware of the causes and symptoms of this respiratory infection. As a result, many cases go unreported.
Exposure to Legionella bacteria happens through building water systems. Showers, faucets, and drinking fountains spread the bacteria and cooling towers do as well. Having expert inspection of water and air systems identifies the conditions that lead to Legionnaires’ outbreaks. We recommended environmental lab testing and analysis to detect the presence of this and other harmful bacteria.
Healthcare IAQ Concerns
As 2020 progressed, the coronavirus dominated the news. Addressing top IAQ concerns in healthcare facilities became a priority. We discussed the need to control humidity and temperature levels to prevent the spread of infection. Additionally, regular inspections, cleaning, and monitoring services slow the spread.
We also advised facilities managers to get a professional evaluation of their systems. Our HVAC hygiene assessment provides useful information on where and how to address IAQ concerns. This includes air handling units, ductwork, blower, and drain pipe with special attention paid to VAV terminals. Routine cleaning with PURE-Steam HVAC coil cleaning also improves healthcare IAQ while improving energy efficiency too.
Around-the-clock monitoring deals with IAQ concerns. For example, our IAQ Guard tracks conditions and temperature and humidity level readings. This provides managers with real-time actionable data. Lastly, we suggested managers retrofit outdated equipment such as HVAC blowers and motors. The Q-PAC™ Fan Array, for example, improves HVAC operation and extends the life of the system.
Classroom IAQ Concerns
In March we took a look at the top IAQ concerns facing schools. Poor IAQ affects students just as it impacts office workers. For students, this means lower test scores and more missed days.
Allergens combine with moisture and poor ventilation to make students ill. This leads to behavioral problems in addition to poor academic performance. Facilities managers address these IAQ concerns in several ways. We suggested using green products with limited VOCs and maintaining proper ventilation rates.
We also advised scheduling regular inspections and cleaning of HVAC systems. Coils and AHUs get dirty over time, filters need replacing, and drain pans become damaged. Conducting an HVAC Performance Assessment is a good way to determine what improvements need to be made. This has the added benefit of energy savings as well.
Reducing classroom noise is important too. We recommended the HVAC New Life ECM Fan Array Retro Fit as a way to reduce noise levels so learning is not disrupted.
Addressing Top IAQ Concerns
We hope these articles provided you with the information you need to improve the IAQ of your facilities. After reading them, if you still have questions about any of the top IAQ concerns we presented, contact Pure Air Control Services today. Call 1-800-422-7873 today or email us here.