Hazards of Contaminated HVAC System & Significance of Cleaning Air Filters and Coils

One of the elements that more attention has demanded for a long time is the quality of the interior air of the spaces. This is because staff productivity and health are closely related to this element, as vitiated air has proven to be an important agent in the transmission of respiratory diseases, chronic fatigue, headaches and, ultimately, syndrome of the sick building.

The air filters and the clean coils contribute significantly to maintain the indoor air quality in optimum conditions. If maintenance is carried out on a regular basis, the systems work in their designed conditions, extend their useful life, remain clean and do not spread fungi, bacteria and viruses to the environment, which can be released from the biofilm adhered to the coils, ducts and pipes Service Filter

Daily cleaning activities such as sweeping, dusting with mops or dry cloths, or shaking clothes should also be considered in the design and proper functioning of air conditioning and refrigeration systems for the reason that they can create aerosol particles containing microorganisms. In performing these tasks, the air transports the particles and is recirculated through the coils, whereby much of it is trapped in the fins.

The periodic maintenance prevents the accumulation of these particles to reach undesirable levels and decrease the efficiency of the equipment. In addition, the dirt accumulated in evaporator coils makes them the ideal nest for biological contaminants and a source of many of the problems affecting indoor air quality. Avoiding contamination by microorganisms is especially important when systems are located in areas dedicated to health care, food processing and where a large number of people are working, given that, it can worsen the status of vulnerable patients, affect people who come into contact with contaminated food or cause outbreaks, but, in general, it must be kept under control, regardless of the activities of the premises where they are located.

On the other hand, when the humidity of a coil is high and a periodic cleaning is not carried out, the ideal conditions for the formation of the biofilm, which grows and attracts more dirt, bacteria and sediment, has harmful effects on the evaporators.

The first effect seen in a system requiring cleaning is that layers of accumulated dirt do not allow sufficient air to pass through which causes the system’s ability to cool air to drop. As a consequence, the compressor tries to compensate it by working longer and consuming more electric power.

In the second instance, the formation of biofilm is presented. The biofilm originates when microorganisms adhere to the wet surfaces of the equipment and excrete a sticky substance. Any metal or plastic surface, under and above the earth, in natural materials, in plants and even in the human body, for example, on the teeth, are propitious for its reproduction. When these microorganisms find a combination of moisture and nutrients on a surface, they begin to grow.

The biolayer may consist of one or more species of bacteria, although they are commonly formed by fungi, yeasts, molds, dirt, dust and oxides. These bacteria are held together by chains of sugar molecules, called extracellular polymer substances (EPS). The cells produce EPS and keep them together, making three-dimensional complex that can reach a thickness of several centimeters, depending on the environmental conditions. You can see more info at this website about air filter cleaning process.

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