Critical Functions of Commercial HVAC Systems in Healthcare Facilities

A well-designed, professionally installed, and properly maintained commercial HVAC system is very important for any building. The system functions as the lungs of a building, circulating clean, healthy air throughout and removing dust and other contaminants. In hospitals, though, the importance of a fully functioning HVAC is critical.

In the case of most buildings today, the majority of occupants are healthy and able-bodied. They may be able to more easily adapt to fluctuations in temperature or indoor air quality. In hospitals or other care facilities, the opposite may sometimes be true. Patients could have compromised immune systems or be at heightened susceptibility to respiratory ailments.

A purpose-built and well-maintained HVAC system is critical to maintaining a healthy environment for all occupants of these types of buildings.

What Are the Critical Functions in a Healthcare-Focused HVAC System?

HVAC systems operating in healthcare environments perform three vital functions.

Odor Control

The potential presence of any/all types of bodily functions in a healthcare environment can lead to odors that are sometimes off-putting. A properly functioning HVAC system helps to circulate air and remove odors, leading to a more pleasant environment for patients, doctors, and visitors alike.

Infection Control

One of the main reasons to visit a hospital or healthcare facility is to help cure an ailment. Sometimes an ailment may involve bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens. Since an HVAC system recirculates part of the interior air, it is important that the various filters function properly. They are designed to trap bacteria and other microorganisms to help prevent them from spreading to other parts of the building.

Temperature Control

Healthcare facilities tend to have numerous rooms, sometimes having varying temperature requirements. Some rooms may need to be consistently cool, such as equipment rooms, while others, such as maternity rooms, may need to be warmer.

In addition to cleaning and circulating air, another function of a commercial HVAC system is to be able to adjust the indoor air temperature to suit the needs of occupants. This is important in all buildings but is especially important in hospitals and similar facilities where occupants are likely to already be in some form of discomfort.

What Are the Consequences of an HVAC Failure?

If a healthcare facility’s HVAC system broke down, the least issue is that the temperature may become uncomfortable for occupants. Depending on the location of the building, further issues may include increasingly unbearable temperatures or stagnant air, which could lead to health issues for some.

It’s important to speak with someone at your local professional HVAC services company about performing regular maintenance or a tune-up on the HVAC system at your building. Preventative maintenance has been proven to prevent small issues from becoming larger ones.

You may also be interested in reading The Importance of Hospital HVAC Repair & Preventative Maintenance.

For NYC healthcare HVAC and related indoor air quality services, contact Donnelly’s experienced, CHC (Certified in Healthcare Compliance) professionals.

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