Healthcare HVAC: Quality Maintenance Reduces Risks

For facility owners and managers at medical facilities, healthcare HVAC is a critical component to the health and welfare of your patients.

Let’s take a look at the symptoms of a poorly functioning healthcare HVAC system. Then we’ll discuss what you can do to prevent and fix healthcare HVAC systems at hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, physical therapy and wellness centres.

The risks of poor healthcare HVAC

Healthcare HVAC breakdowns and poor performance are very serious problems. That’s because patients’ lives can be at risk if temperatures and humidity deviate from safe levels.

1. High humidity: a huge healthcare HVAC problem

High heat and humidity are unpleasant for healthy people. Yet these conditions are especially harmful to those with respiratory problems. They also are dangerous to those recuperating after surgery at a rehabilitation centre or nursing home.

High humidity promotes the spread of bacteria and viruses. This is a concern at any location, but it’s even more troublesome at healthcare facilities where people often have compromised immune systems. When your immune system is down, it is harder to fight infections.

2. Temperature fluctuations endanger patients

Temperature variances can be annoying in our homes, but downright dangerous at hospitals and other medical centres. Healthcare facilities must maintain the correct temperature for each specialized environment. That makes designing & maintaining HVAC for medical facilities a critical consideration.

Warmer temperatures may be needed for cardiac patients with poor circulation. Those with high fevers and brain injuries often need a cooler environment. Burn victims require warmer temperatures with higher humidity.

3. Healthcare HVAC equipment failures can shut you down

Air conditioning and heating breakdowns inconvenience most of us. But HVAC breakdowns can have disastrous results at medical buildings. Healthcare HVAC equipment failure can force you to close your building or transfer patients to other facilities. Neither option is good for your reputation or bottom line.

4. Poor working conditions impact patient care

Besides bringing comfort to your patients, an optimal healthcare HVAC system is vital for your employee’s health and delivery of services to patients. You do not need large numbers of staff members calling in sick or on the job unable to fully attend to their responsibilities.

Taking care of your HVAC at medical facilities

When you proactively maintain your HVAC at a medical facility, you are taking care of your patients. Here are some maintenance tasks that keep your healthcare HVAC equipment working reliably. Is your HVAC maintenance service provider doing all this?

1. Upgrade Air Filters. Ordinary HVAC filters can’t remove bacteria and viruses from the air. HEPA filters remove 99.9 percent of harmful particles and are helpful in preventing disease transmission. But filters must be changed regularly to do their job.

2. Clean Evaporator And Condenser Coils. Dirty coils interfere with the transfer of heat. Condenser coils caked in grime trap heat instead of releasing it. Dirty evaporator coils won’t effectively absorb the heat. These coil problems result in less efficient cooling cycles. Equipment will struggle to reach desired temperatures and won’t be able to remove moisture from the air.

3. Check Refrigerant Levels. If your refrigerant level is low, it likely means there is a leak.

4. Check Ducts For Leaks. You’d be surprised how much air can leak out of even small holes. Escaped air trapped behind walls will not do you any good where you need it – in the rooms where people are convalescing and working.

5. Check Electrical Connections. Loose wires and connections can cause your AC to lose power.

6. Check Belts And Other Moving Parts For Signs Of Wear. By addressing these small issues, you can prevent equipment failures that hurt patient care.

7. Calibrate Thermostats And Humidistats. Malfunctioning thermostats can cycle air conditioning and heat on and off too frequently.

8. Clean Drain Lines And Drip Pans. Overflowing pans can mean you have a clogged condensed drain, which must be addressed quickly to avoid system failure and damage to your building and its contents.

Bring in the best healthcare HVAC professionals

With so much at stake, you don’t want to call just anyone in to assess your healthcare HVAC system. So, why not invite the experts from Isocool into your facility to inspect your system and make recommendations? Isocool has the knowledge to provide you with the best healthcare HVAC advice. We can help you minimize system risks, maintain patient and employee comfort and save you money through system operational efficiencies.