Indoor Air Quality & Intelligent HVAC Systems in Hospitals

Hospital facility managers have special requirements for their HVAC systems. Besides reliability, maintenance, and operation costs, topics like indoor air quality (IAQ) have taken on a heightened concern.

For better results and efficiency, an intelligent HVAC system can be the perfect solution. Their improved operation costs over time can offset the price of upgrading your current HVAC system.

What Is an Intelligent HVAC System?

Think of an intelligent HVAC system as the next generation of efficiency and comfort. These systems monitor and regulate temperature as well as humidity, carbon dioxide levels, and indoor air quality (IAQ). While beneficial for any large building or facility, it’s crucial for hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab centers.

Intelligent HVAC systems provide real-time energy management and a smart algorithm, so your facility isn’t dependent on pre-programmed thermostat settings when sudden weather shifts occur. The algorithm will adjust accordingly while your facility management team can easily override it if necessary.

Sensors are used in intelligent HVAC systems to monitor humidity, carbon dioxide, and indoor air quality (IAQ) in addition to temperature. Sensors also detect whether humans are present so heat or air conditioning can be lowered in empty areas without adversely affecting comfort in occupied areas.

More and more facility managers are choosing intelligent HVAC systems because of its many benefits. Energy costs are optimized with better heat and cold balancing for greater efficiency. Additionally, air conditioning will automatically increase cooling performance when more people are in the room for a prolonged period of time. On the other hand, if fewer people are in the room or the room is empty, cooling performance will decrease.

What Causes Bad Air Quality?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, unhealthy indoor air quality (IAQ) comes from a combination of factors. Those include:

  • Poor maintenance of the HVAC/ventilation system
  • Excessive dampness from leaks or high humidity
  • Poor ventilation/inadequate fresh air
  • Lack of air filtration
  • Contaminated air

Indoor Air Quality & Your HVAC System

The EPA’s indoor air quality research also cites other items that create poor indoor quality. For example, newly installed carpeting, upholstery, cabinetry, etc. can all give off chemical residue. Good HVAC filtration diminishes those effects.

If the air in your facility feels musty, or hot and stuffy, that can be a sign of poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Headaches, coughs, asthma, and congested nasal passages can also be signs of poor indoor air quality, but in a hospital, those symptoms might be ignored as simple cross-contamination from colds.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is even more crucial now due to COVID-19, especially in hospitals. Studies indicate that COVID-19 infected respiratory droplets can spread through air conditioning as well as transmission of other viruses the same way.

Fortunately, (higher rated) MERV and HEPA filters in HVAC systems can deter virus transmission and help you reopen your facility after COVID-19.

According to Dr. Julian Tang, a consulting virologist at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and associate professor at Leicester University. Adding HVAC UV light purifiers adds further protection for hospital indoor air quality (IAQ) management because UV light is a proven germicidal.

Donnelly Mechanical Are the Experts in Hospital HVAC Systems

At Donnelly Mechanical, we have an experienced team who are experts in HVAC systems, indoor air quality, and hospital HVAC needs. If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality (IAQ) produced by your commercial HVAC system or how to improve air quality within your facility or office building, call us at Donnelly Mechanical. We have specialized solutions for hospitals, rehab facilities, and other large buildings and facilities.

In addition to better air quality, we can also discuss upgrading your commercial HVAC system to help lower energy costs and improve the overall quality of life of the people using your facilities. With more than 30 years of experience, Donnelly Mechanical has NYC’s leading team of experts in commercial HVAC system efficiency. Contact us today!

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