Some things just naturally go together. Consider:
Good indoor air quality (IAQ) and effective mechanical system maintenance are two more. Good indoor air quality is complex, and your mechanical system plays a critical role in its two most important components, adequate ventilation and moisture control. Adequate ventilation includes both the proper utilization of outside air and the assurance of proper airflow into occupied spaces.
Ensure that dampers allow sufficient outdoor air into the building to meet ventilation and exhaust needs.
When using medium efficiency filters with ASHRAE ratings of 30%-60%*, clean or replace filters as they overload with dirt to prevent pressure drops throughout the system, causing reduced airflow into spaces. Also, clean and maintain ductwork to prevent dirt accumulation that can combine with high humidity to create moisture and result in a breeding ground for microbial contaminants.
*Higher efficiency is necessary in especially clean applications
To prevent condensation and resultant moisture conducive to the growth of molds, fungi, and bacteria, clean drain pains to ensure proper drainage. Also, properly trap condensate lines and charge with fluid. Consider the use of UVC germicidal lights to reduce the concentrations of mold, bacteria, and fungi on the coils for improved system efficiency.
To reduce the likelihood of microbial growth, always assure clean steam in steam systems and maintain and inspect other types of humidification systems.
Inspect air supply outlets to ensure they have not been blocked or adjusted as commonly occurs when occupants are uncomfortable due to drafts from the HVAC system. Likewise, ensure that return air grilles have not been blocked or ceiling tiles removed when a ceiling plenum is in use. Any or all of these conditions can disrupt the design airflow patterns and affect proper air supply to adjacent areas.
Be sure to include self-contained units in your preventive maintenance plans. Although these units seldom supply outside air, they can become a source of contaminants, and are often overlooked.
Avoid carbon monoxide (CO2) leaks by properly maintaining required temperatures, gaskets and breechings, fuel lines, and the availability of outside air—all critical to proper boiler operation and the avoidance of CO2 leaks.
Ensure good water quality with effective chemical treatment to control bacteria including legionella. Clean cooling towers to prevent sediment accumulation.
Inspect systems to ensure a balance between the exhaust system and required make-up air for effective exhaust. Achieving effective exhaust can be tricky. Isolate exhaust from the return system and make sure air has a clear path to the area being exhausted. Otherwise, the intended supply of air into spaces will be negatively affected.
Periodically balance exhaust systems to assure that airflow is in accordance with design parameters. The Associated Air Balance Council recommends balancing when:
Schmid Mechanical can help with all your indoor air quality service and maintenance needs. Look to us for expert advice, as well as service and maintenance for cooling towers, make-up air, air rotation, exhaust systems, humidifiers, and much, much more.