Of all places we want to have good indoor air quality (other than our homes), hospitals are probably at the top of the list. After all, we go to the hospital to be taken care of, not to become more sick. But with all of the chemicals and bacteria inside of these healthcare facilities, how do we know that the indoor air of our local hospital is safe for us to breathe? Check out these facts and resources from around the web to understand more about IAQ in hospitals.
1. Greater Importance: Good IAQ is vitally important, especially for places like hospitals and other health care facilities. In order for patients to heal and improve their health, the quality of the air in the building must be safe for them to breathe. It’s also necessary for the doctors, nurses, maintenance and other staff members to be able to continue doing their jobs efficiently.
2. Sources of Contaminants: There are a few key causes of adverse effects on hospital IAQ. The first is the patients themselves. While they are also one of the biggest reasons to sustain good indoor air quality, they also bring in a variety of health concerns, including infections, viruses and bodily fluids. Staff members also have the potential to contribute to poor IAQ since they are often in immediate contact with many contaminants from a variety of patients every day. Other staff, including housekeeping and maintenance employees, can affect air quality when taking out the trash, disposing of toxic chemicals, and when cleaning the building with certain chemicals.
3. IAQ Codes and Standards: Founded in 1894, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has formed codes and standards to maintain healthy IAQ levels for hospitals and healthcare facilities. These regulations require that these facilities comply with respect to air change rates, humidity requirements and pressurization. The ASHRAE Standard 62.1 issued in 1973 directly addresses IAQ, air temperature, contaminants and air distribution systems, with requirements specifically for healthcare buildings.
4. Structural Design of Ventilation Systems: To improve indoor air quality in hospitals, it’s important to first look at various areas and departments of the building and determine special ventilation requirements for each one. Certain areas, such as the operating rooms and intensive care units, require more planning and specific equipment to prevent bacteria from making patient health worse during surgery or recovery.
5. Concerns and Complaints: Although there are various sanitary codes enforced under the Florida Department of Health, any concerns and complaints you have should go through local or state health department contacts to ensure health and safety for you and others at your hospital or healthcare facility.
Contact Engineered Air for Commercial HVAC Services!
If you’re concerned about indoor air quality, the HVAC professionals at Engineered Air can help. With the experience and certifications you’d want in a commercial HVAC company, we can assist in repairing and maintaining large AC units for your healthcare facility or other commercial building. Call us or visit us online to schedule your appointment today.