HOW TO KEEP THINGS CLEAN WITH COMMERCIAL BUILDING AIR QUALITY CONTROL July 1, 2020 | Property Maintenance | commercial hvac , commercial tenants , interior maintenance , safety Air quality is a commercial maintenance issue that often goes unnoticed--out of sight, out of mind, after all. But as we continue to grapple with the global pandemic while facing down another cold and flu season, the cleanliness of your commercial HVAC system has never been more important. Airborne Contaminants Create Serious Side Effects Airborne contaminants can have a surprisingly serious effect on overall health. Just think, your tenants may be spending almost as much time in your building as they do in their own homes. The air that’s circulated through your commercial HVAC system is what they’re breathing in the most. If the system isn’t cleaned and maintained properly, you may see an uptick in complaints of allergy symptoms and respiratory issues from tenants and guests. Even serious illnesses (like COVID-19) have been linked to transmission through the airflow patterns created by HVAC ducts. Other types of airborne transmission can’t be ruled out. If a connection is discovered between the air quality of your building and tenants’ health issues, you could be held liable as an owner or property manager. Avoid a guilty conscience and legal headache by checking up on the efficiency and cleanliness of your HVAC system. How Can You Keep Your HVAC System Clean? Just as keeping surfaces clean helps prevent the spread of disease, a similar idea applies to your commercial HVAC system. The first step to keeping your system clean and running in top shape is regular maintenance by a qualified contractor. Your system should be inspected at least once a year, but this may vary depending on your area. For instance, if you live in a drier environment with more dust or air pollution, it may be necessary to inspect your system quarterly to identify small issues before they become big problems. Consistent maintenance can include replacement of air filters, inspection of moving parts for wear and visual examination of ductwork to determine if cleaning is necessary. Drain lines can be blocked and fans can stop working, leading to further damage. Working with a licensed professional will allow you to make necessary repairs while saving money in the long-term. Use your HVAC to Stop the Spread You’re not stuck with the air you have circulating. You can actually turn your HVAC system into a germ-killing powerhouse to help stop the spread of diseases. If your building is vacant at certain times during the week, open doors and windows and use good old fresh air to help purify your building. This helps push out recycled air and can help remove any pathogens that could be lingering in your system. You can also look into utilizing UV radiation to kill off any remaining germs. Hospitals, schools, restaurants and other high traffic areas have UVGI systems in place to help combat the spread. These may be easily added as an upgrade to your current system. You should also regularly check on humidity levels in your building to help keep toxins from growing and spreading throughout your system. Adjust levels based on time of year to make sure the air is clean and comfortable. When you invest in taking care of your commercial HVAC system, you’ll help your tenants stay healthy and productive, and you’ll also extend the life of your equipment and potentially reap big energy savings in the process. Have Your HVAC System Inspected by NPI National Property Inspections can help assess the health of your commercial HVAC system and determine any needed repairs. Call 402-333-9807 ex. 30 to get in touch with your local inspector.