How Hospital HVAC Systems Help to Save Lives
Hospitals are high-sensitivity spaces that require a delicate balance of factors to maintain the health and comfort of patients. Because hospitals are such high-traffic areas, the most important thing is ensuring that every room stays as clean as possible. Hospital HVAC systems are integral to preserving this balance.
Every room is connected via the building’s HVAC system. That means every patient potentially shares the same air. Without specifically designed hospital HVAC systems, this would present a massive challenge. So how do you keep the air clean for every patient when they all share the same air? The answer comes down to competent system design.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality describes the contents of your indoor air supply as it relates to the health of your building’s residents. For example, in hospitals, the air must stay as clean and healthy as possible to minimize risk to patients and staff. You can effectively capture or eliminate any airborne contaminants that would otherwise threaten your health or comfort with the proper measures.
HEPA filters are some of, if not the most powerful filters available. In fact, HEPA filters are strong enough to capture 99.97% of airborne pollutants. The pollutants that HEPA filters capture include the following:
These filters trap any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns or larger. With a HEPA filter in place, the prevention of cross-contamination is effective.
With HEPA filters, operating rooms won’t have to worry about what’s happening in isolation rooms and vice versa. No matter what, the air stays clean from room to room. HEPA filters also prevent airborne transmission to neighboring areas due to the outflow of air.
High-intensity UV lights treat air at the source. UV light air purifiers can be installed directly inside your HVAC system so that any airborne contaminants are exposed to UV light before traveling through the ducts.
When exposed to UV light, airborne microbes are either killed or inactivated, cleaning the air over time. Of course, UV light alone is not the only solution, but it does provide an extra layer of protection.
Temperature and Humidity Control
The most characteristic responsibilities of an HVAC system are to control temperature and humidity. This duty could not be more critical. Maintaining a stable and specific temperature is beneficial not only for comfort but also for limiting the spread of disease. Humidity control plays a prominent role in this. You can prevent humidity levels from dropping too low or getting too high by stabilizing humidity indoors.
Humidity levels that are too low can lead to dry skin, nose bleeds, reduced sinus health, and respiratory problems. Low humidity can also cause the flu virus to survive longer and spread more quickly.
On the other hand, high humidity promotes the growth of bacteria and mold and can worsen allergic reactions. Controlling humidity eliminates these risks.
Negative Pressure Environments
Negative pressure rooms are designed to keep the pressure of a room slightly below that of the entry area. This allows air to flow into an isolation chamber without flowing back out. This effect is created using a mechanical ventilation system in combination with your HVAC system.
With airflow trapped in the isolation room, there is no risk of outflow, preventing contaminated air from escaping into other areas.
Hospital HVAC Systems Design and Installation Services
The Severn Group has been installing hospital HVAC systems since 2002. We will create a custom-designed HVAC system for your hospital to prevent, contain, and eliminate airborne contaminants and promote healthy airflow. Call or contact the Severn Group today to discuss details about your hospital HVAC system. Also, check out our blog for more tips on commercial HVAC.