Mid-winter brings the peak of the flu season and by all accounts this year it’s a particularly nasty strain. But did you know your workplace heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) is one of the tools you can use to help stop the spread of a virus through your office?
In fact, your HVAC is linked directly to the health and wellbeing of your staff all year round. Here’s an insight into HVAC best practice to keep your office and staff healthy and well.
Temperature not only plays a role in staff comfort but also their health and productivity. An office temperature that is too warm, causes staff to feel drowsy, and can also foster the spread of germs.
On the other hand, a temperature that is too low can cause staff to become cramped and stiff, which can lead to problems like back and neck pain.
Your HVAC temperature can also affect health in other ways. If your HVAC is too cold and the humidity level is too low it can lead to dry eyes, and dry skin.
In winter the ideal temperature is often lower than people realise due to the heavier layers of clothing that staff tend to wear. Between 21 and 24 degrees is considered ideal in winter, while between 24 and 26 degrees is the desired range for summer.
If your staff are coughing, sneezing and wheezing, or experiencing frequent headaches it could be a sign that the air quality of your HVAC system isn’t up to par.
Air quality is linked to allergens like dust and mould, and often this comes down to simple HVAC maintenance like ensuring your vents are free of dust and your filters are changed regularly.
In addition to maintaining a stable temperature, HVAC systems also maintain humidity levels. A relative humidity level of around 40 per cent humidity is considered optimum, and there’s some interesting science behind this.
Research has found germs and viruses thrive in a low humidity environment as the lack of moisture allows these airborne molecules to travel further. Meanwhile high humidity is linked to mildew and mould which are allergens for many.
The health of your HVAC system and therefore the health of your staff involves having your system regularly serviced.
Regular, professional servicing involves changing filters, cleaning vents and helps ensure the air quality your system is delivering is suitable and your HVAC is operating efficiently and effectively.
Importantly, the servicing schedule required in your workplace can vary depending on the volume of foot traffic, the age of the system and a whole host of other criteria.
Regular maintenance and proper servicing involves inspecting and testing your HVAC equipment. It also includes tasks like:
- Cleaning condenser coils, evaporators, and fans
- Cleaning or changing air-filters
- Checking valves, belts, refrigerant levels and insulation
- Inspecting that your economiser is working correctly
- Checking the bearings, motors and speed drives
- Ensuring dampers are operating correctly. (This stops hot or cold air coming in to your building when it’s not required)
- Making sure the outside air grills are not blocked with plastic bags or other materials
- Lubricating fan bearings
- Fixing refrigerant gas leaks
- Fixing any air leaks in your ducting.
Servicing the greater Sydney region, Climacool Air Conditioning prides itself on superior service and quality workmanship.
We work with the leading brands in the field of heating and cooling, and have an enviable reputation for meeting the needs of our valued commercial clientele in air conditioning installation, service, and repairs.