Commercial HVAC Restoration

Debree Filled Intake Valve cleaned by Airfresh cleaning company
Debris Filled Intake/return Air Vent
<Commercial Duct>

Sick Building Syndrome- Defined:

The term "Sick Building Syndrome" is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause has been identified.

Indicators of Sick Building Syndrome

Building occupants complain of symptoms associated with acute discomfort, e.g., headache; eye, nose, or throat irritation; dry cough; dry or itchy skin; dizziness and nausea; difficulty in concentrating; fatigue; and sensitivity to odors. The cause of the symptoms is not known. Most of the people who complained, reported relief soon after leaving the building.   

Solving the problem (Locating the source)
  • The air conditioning systems may be contaminated with mold. This can be a result of various conditions, such as overflowing drain pans, condensation blowing off the coils onto internal insulation or water incursion into the ducts (leaking rooftop ducts) to name a few.
  • While investigating remember, that mold generally needs a moisture source and a food source to survive. Poorly configured landscape irrigation or inadequate drainage outside the building can result in moisture inside the building. This can lead to subsequent mold growth.
  • The filters in the HVAC system don’t fit correctly, leaving gaps and allowing contaminants into the system.
  • The outside air intake for the HVAC system is located near a bathroom exhaust or other undesirable locations. Not enough outside (fresh) air. Fresh air is needed to dilute the contaminants typically found within a building.
  • HVAC system not balanced, e.g. too much or not enough air being delivered to a specific location
  • HVAC system has been contaminated. This can be a result of outside sources or conditions within the system.Construction Dust, outside Air intake near a highway and bad filtration ,some of the scenes that can create this.

Fiberglass unit before encapsulation       Fiberglass unit after encapsulation
(A common problem in buildings is that fiberglass liners will fall apart and blow into the air system. Encapsulating the fiberglass liner prevents further deterioration of the liner, and prevents the glass debris from floating in the office or living spaces of your tenants.)

How Often Should I get My Heating Ventilation And Air Conditioning System Cleaned?

The  answer to this question  depends on a number of factors, these include:

  • The location of your system. Are you near a freeway, forest? In a desert climate? On the coast etc. What weather conditions are usual in your area. Is it windy? Do you experience a lot of rain, very dry air or have very moist air? Etc. How old is your system is. How often you change the filters.
  • Normally we  recommend  cleaning  again after 3 years or more.                                         

They way to tell if your system needs cleaning is to have a look at the grills/registers.
Are they dusty or is there accumulated dirt on them?Shine a flash light through the grill/register, do the ducts behind the grill/register look dirty?If so, then you should get your system cleaned.As a general rule of thumb, we say every 5 years. If you live in a dusty place or close to a freeway then maybe as soon as 3 years. If you change the filters regularly and you live in a clean environment then it could be fine for 7 years. Another factor could be if you or anyone in the house has allergies.If you move into a previously owned house you should get the system cleaned. Since dead skin makes up most of what dust is made from then cleaning the system makes hygienic sense  and helps anyone with allergies.

     With so much attention these days on one's health one can only wonder how safe is our work environment.
Researchers from the U.S. National Institute Of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH inc.) recently completed a three-year study of 165 buildings which were considered to have Indoor Air Quality problems. As a result of these studies, they have compiled data showing the most common IAQ problems and the relative risk of certain health problems in the presence of different building conditions.   The most common problems adversely affecting the indoor environment were found to be dirty HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) components, no written IAQ plan and lack of maintenance - or disrepair - of HVAC systems. As you can see, the HVAC system predominantly contributes to adverse health effects. It was found that dirty particulate filters and dirt found in the OSA (outside air) intake doubled the chance of asthma in building occupants exposed to such, as compared to those not exposed. Exposure to unclean ducts increased the likelihood of health symptoms like runny nose, sneezing or itchy eyes.
    With all of these health issues in the workplace, one can only wonder how much this is effecting the health of office workers and tenants, their productivity and the efficiency of one's company. What is the solution to these health problems?  There is something you can do about it. Having your HVAC systems inspected, cleaned and maintained at scheduled intervals is the best guarantee against employee and tenant complaints and lowered productivity through increased sick days. You can find out today if your system has become a potential health risk.