Your team and your visitors come and go from your facility every day. Conducting regular AC unit repairs can help maintain your air quality, but there are other things you can do to help your Lehigh County, PA facility. Taking the time to ensure that the air quality inside your buildings is of the best condition requires continual effort and maintenance on the part of property managers. Finding ways to improve and optimize your IAQ (indoor air quality) can help improve everyone’s experience visiting your facility. But what areas should you focus on first, and how can you go about making changes to optimize your IAQ?
Increase Outside Air
First and foremost, you need to be bringing in Outdoor Air. Optimizing your HVAC system to meet or exceed the building code’s outdoor air levels have been shown to increase occupant productivity and comfort, as well as improving IAQ. Optimizing your HVAC system can go further by making sure the outside air is filtered and conditioned. In the winter the outdoor air is heated and in the summer it should be cooled, with humidity levels reduced. When done properly this can help freshen up your facility and, in turn, increase your IAQ.
Bring Your Air Filtration System to At Least 13 MERV
The MERV rating represents how well your air filtration system captures particulate matter from circulating in the air. MERV stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value” and is one of the key indicators in determining your IAQ. The MERV rating scale scores filtration efficiency on a scale of 1-20 — the higher the score, the cleaner the air. However, HVAC systems have a delicate balancing act between delivering the highest quality air and remaining efficient. Typical commercial systems are designed with a MERV rating of 8. A MERV score of 13-16 is considered hospital quality air, so optimizing your system to reach a minimum of 13 should be the target to improve your IAQ significantly.
Air changes per hour (ACH) is a metric designed to calculate how often the air is replaced in a building over a predetermined time frame. You can calculate a building’s ACH using the formula Air Changes Per Hour = (Building CFM x 60) ÷ Building Volume in Cubic Feet. This shows how many times the air passes over the unit’s air filter.
Can Needlepoint Bi-Polar Ionization Help?
New technologies emerge that aim to help your HVAC systems become more efficient at dealing with air particulates like pollen, smoke, pollution, dander, and even viruses. One such technology that emerged in recent years comes in the form of Needlepoint Bi-Polar Ionization systems. These devices release positive and negative ions into the ventilation system, colliding and interacting with the particulates in the air and creates a snowball effect where the particles begin to cluster together. These larger particles are easier to get trapped in the air filter, thus improving overall air quality.
Proper Ventilation Throughout Your Space
Determining the ventilation rate at which your HVAC system adds fresh outdoor air to a space can help identify areas where you can improve your indoor air quality. Too little and quality suffers. Too much outdoor air and energy costs balloon as the outdoor air puts strain on your equipment.
Ventilation also depends on how much exhaust air is being removed from your space.
You can also call in the HVAC professionals at Dual Temp to help you figure out the best path forward to improving ventilation and overall air quality.
Increase Exhaust Output
Exhaust fans can help increase the overall IAQ by taking stale air circulating in your building and blowing it outside. Typically, air is exhausted from bathrooms, kitchenette breakroom areas, and janitorial closets. This cuts odors and volatile organic compounds, aka VOC’s, from the building. By exhausting these areas, the undesirable air never mixes in with the building’s recirculated air. Checking the operation of your exhaust fans can help increase your overall IAQ score by helping increase air changes, promote the circulation of fresh air from the outdoors, and remove the particulate matter-infused air from inside the building.
Need Help Improving Your IAQ Score?
Improving your facility’s overall IAQ requires a dedicated effort to conduct proper maintenance routines and bringing in professionals to help. The talented team at Dual Temp has extensive experience working with commercial property owners to improve their HVAC systems' performance and efficiency, leading to improved IAQ. We can also help improve school building’s IAQ through AC unit repairs as well in Hunterdon County, NJ. Contact us to schedule an appointment and get started improving your IAQ score today!