Millions of Americans work in buildings with mechanical heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems, known as HVAC systems. These systems are designed to provide comfortable temperatures and humidity levels and minimize harmful concentrations of air pollutants. While heating and air-conditioning are relatively straightforward operations, the more complex processes involving ventilation are the most important in determining the quality of our indoor air. This is especially true now that we know how harmful and contagious some of the contaminants and germs can be to our health and well being.
Ventilation is the process of bringing outdoor air into a building, circulating it, and later purging it back to the outside. The main purpose of ventilation is to provide acceptable indoor air quality by diluting and removing contaminants from the indoor air.
The ventilation system in a commercial building serves a number of important functions:
- It’s the conduit for the conditioned air from the building’s HVAC system, bringing heated or cooled air to different rooms.
- It serves to protect the indoor air quality and it circulates air through the building to prevent it from becoming stuffy.
- If you have a substandard or damaged ventilation system in your building, it will result in an uncomfortable place for workers, clients, and customers.
- It can also cause an unnecessary energy drain due to inefficient HVAC system operation.
As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibility to take care of the commercial building you occupy. It can be difficult to keep track of which tasks are most important and which can be put off for a while longer. Proper ventilation should be a top priority since it is important for indoor air quality and keeping your employees, clients and customers safe. Even if you don’t own the building, you need to make sure that your property managers are maintaining your building properly and regularly so that your employees and customers are protected.
Commercial ventilation is essential to keep the people in your commercial property safe from problems caused by gases, pollutants and allergens along with other harmful germs and off gassing of new products brought into the building. EPA studies have found that the air inside of a commercial building can be much worse than the outside air. Those who suffer from asthma, allergies or respiratory immune disorders are likely to have symptoms that become irritated by contaminants that frequently circulate through the vents. A good ventilation system installed allows fresh air to come into the commercial building without affecting the efficiency of your heater or air conditioner. This can help to control humidity levels and prevent symptoms associated with respiratory issues or general illness.
It is important to also have a system in place to properly ventilate gases or fumes to the outdoors from a commercial heating system or from commercial kitchen equipment. An exhaust system helps to ensure that combustion gases and water vapor are vented safely outdoors, but this can only be guaranteed with regular maintenance of the fans and flue of your commercial equipment. Poor ventilation can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, so it’s important to have an expert inspect your heating equipment and ventilation system every year.
These three ventilations issues should be evaluated in your building to improve proper ventilation and eliminate the high costs associated with not having it checked by a professional on a regular basis.
- Air leaks can lead to big bills: It only takes a small leak along a ventilation system to end up severely damaging an HVAC’s system’s efficiency. Commercial heating and cooling requires a large amount of energy to run, and you don’t want to waste any of that power. But leaks in the ducts will cause a drop in air pressure inside the ventilation system that will force the HVAC system to work harder to compensate. You may not notice a comfort change in the workspace but you will see jumps in utility bills. Professional duct sealing will take care of this problem.
- Damaged ductwork will lower indoor air quality: It’s vital that you protect the quality of the air inside your workplace; because modern buildings have heavy air sealing on them to make sure they maintain heating and cooling efficiency, very little fresh air circulates through them. Should your ducts become damaged, contamination will start to enter them and then get blown out into the air of the workspace. If your ventilation system can no longer maintain quality air because of damage then you should arrange for a replacement of the system.
- Repair and replacement work requires specialists: The complexity of commercial ventilation is far beyond that of residential systems, which usually only has a single fan and small HVAC system. Should you need repairs or replacements for your commercial ventilation, you can’t simply call any contractor and hope for the best. Make certain that you only seek out professionals who can handle commercial work.
If you find your indoor air is uncomfortable or employees complain of headaches and constant respiratory issues, have a professional from Allied Experts come out and assess your building. We analyze your system and recommend improvements to increase your comfort, as well as save money in energy costs!