The rising number of elderly patients creates a new demand for healthcare facilities. Facilities that rely on HVAC systems to maintain a steady temperature and humidity must be prepared to deal with the added stress placed on those systems due to higher occupancy rates.
To ensure that the air quality within these facilities is maintained at the highest possible standard, air filtration systems need to be implemented into existing HVAC designs and new construction plans.
Some of these larger-scale projects often find investing in an energy-efficient system can lower operating costs and save money in the long run.
The planning stage onward should include air filtration rather than once issues with indoor air quality become evident.
Strict guidelines must be met when designing HVAC systems for assisted living facilities. For example, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) sets minimum standards for air quality, humidity, and temperature levels in these buildings.
In addition, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) have also published guidance regarding HVAC system design and operations in long-term care facilities.
Commercial HVAC contractors must understand how to design systems that meet or exceed the ASHRAE standards in providing the best indoor air quality. They must also be familiar with the specific needs of assisted living facility residents and staff.
Some of the challenges faced by those who design HVAC systems for assisted living facilities include:
- Ensuring that the system can maintain proper humidity levels. This is especially important in Florida, where high humidity can lead to mold and mildew growth.
- Creates a comfortable environment for patients and residents who may be sensitive to temperature extremes.
- Reducing energy consumption without sacrificing indoor air quality or comfort levels.
The good news is that many new technologies are available to help commercial HVAC contractors meet these challenges. For example, variable-speed blowers and inverter-driven compressors can help reduce energy consumption without sacrificing comfort or indoor air quality.
Suppose you are responsible for designing or operating an HVAC system in an assisted living facility. In that case, it is essential to work with a contractor with experience in this project. They will be familiar with the challenges and know how to overcome them. This will help ensure that your patients or residents are comfortable and that your facility meets all applicable regulations.
One of the most significant factors when it comes to keeping the indoor air quality in healthcare facilities as high as possible is to remove any contaminants from the air. Many different types of pollutants can enter into and circulate through healthcare environments, including;
- mold spores
- asbestos fibers
- volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- dust mites
Even pollen can be an issue for patients suffering from asthma or allergies; however, taking extra care in considering which systems are best suited for each facility and implementing those systems correctly at all stages of construction. As a result, facilities managers will have air filtration systems that work effectively now and as more occupants move into the building in the future.
In addition to implementing air filtration systems, efficient airflow management is necessary to help maintain quality indoor air. Rooms that do not receive enough fresh air will result in poor ventilation and circulation, which increases moisture levels throughout the day and can lead to bacterial or fungal growth within walls if left unchecked.
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