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Why are HVAC Management systems very critical in hospital spaces?

Garima Bharadwaj
Garima Bharadwaj

22nd February 2023

Introduction

When it comes to treating and caring for individuals or patients, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare institutions play a critical part in society. However, maintaining patient health and comfort requires careful management of various factors, including cleanliness in every room. Given the constant flow of patients, hospitals must prioritise the cleanliness of their facilities to prevent the spread of infections. So how do you maintain clean air for each patient when everyone is breathing the same air? The key to the solution is effective HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) management system design.

In fact, IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) problems can exacerbate allergies and other respiratory problems, resulting in flare-ups and sensitivities. This is true for any type of public facility, but it is particularly important for healthcare institutions since they may receive patients with weakened health, where staff members and patients both need to be safeguarded from infections, and where sensitive procedures might be carried out. Having said that, in this blog, we will discuss what an HVAC management system is and why HVAC management systems are very critical in hospital spaces.

HVAC Management System – Explained!

The term HVAC management refers to the system that manages various HVAC systems used for heating, cooling, and transporting air between the interior and outdoor spaces in all kinds of buildings. These are the systems that keep you comfortable and warm in the winter and cool and energised in the summer. Additionally, these are the devices that maintain comfortable humidity levels and clean indoor air to keep you healthy.

HVAC management systems are used to provide comfortable environments anywhere from single-family homes to submarines. These systems, which are gaining popularity in new buildings, utilise outside air to offer excellent indoor air quality. The replacement or exchange of air within a space is represented by the V in HVAC or ventilation. This improves indoor air quality by removing moisture, smoke, smells, warmth, dirt, airborne bacteria, carbon dioxide, and other gases, as well as maintaining temperature and resupplying oxygen.

In addition, the primary functions of an HVAC management system are interconnected, particularly when it comes to producing comfortable temperatures and appropriate indoor air quality. To understand the working of an HVAC management system, one should be familiar with the air return, exhaust outlets, filters, ducts, outdoor units, electrical elements, compressors, coils, and blowers, which are the nine components of the HVAC management system.

HVAC Management System in Hospital Spaces

Smart HVAC management systems are becoming more and more popular in medical settings. For hospitals to maintain good indoor air quality (IAQ), and to ensure healthy, safe, and appropriate indoor thermal conditions (i.e. temperature, humidity, air quality, and airflow) for hospital staff and patients, efficient HVAC systems are essential. 

In other words, the HVAC system is responsible for controlling and regulating the temperature, humidity, and air quality within the hospital building to minimise the spread of infections and provide a safe and comfortable environment. The HVAC management system should also have the ability to isolate contaminated air and prevent it from spreading to other areas of the building. Additionally, the system should be regularly maintained and serviced to ensure its efficient operation and to prevent breakdowns.

Why are HVAC systems crucial for the Hospital Environment?

Allows for contaminated air filtration

The hospital environment might be full of allergens and pollution. For those who are at risk and those who are recuperating, this poses a serious threat. An HVAC management system, therefore, uses air filters to keep dust and allergens out of hospitals. In addition, it is always advised to choose HVAC equipment with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorbing) filters. They are capable of filtering objects as small as 0.3 microns. This is quite advantageous for hospitals that have a separate wing for contagious patients. It maintains appropriate ventilation and airflow while preventing the spread of airborne illnesses to neighbouring locations.

Offers comfort

Consider feeling overheated and stuffy when taking a nap in your hospital room following surgery. That certainly doesn’t sound comfortable, is it? The HVAC management systems are used for this purpose. Their main goal is to increase the comfort of the employees, patients, and everyone else inside. Sometimes patients will feel anxious even if the humidity simply rises. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain the right temperature, humidity, and air quality. And the HVAC systems are the only method to do that effectively and with lower operating expenses.

Promotes Healing

Healing is a challenging process. The healing process is heavily influenced by both the mental and physical components. Recovery at a hospital with inadequate ventilation can be quite upsetting for many people. Some people do not feel comfortable in an environment that is very humid. The process of physical healing is also impacted by heat. Therefore, HVAC management systems that can regulate ventilation, temperature, humidity, and air quality are crucial for hospitals.

Prolongs the life of the equipment

The use of HVAC management systems in medical spaces can help prolong the life of medical and laboratory equipment that requires the use of cold chambers. By linking the HVAC management system to a modular cleanroom, facility managers can regulate the temperature in different areas of the building, such as MRI-equipped rooms, to ensure that the equipment is maintained at the appropriate temperature. This is crucial because if the equipment is used at higher temperatures, it can suffer significant damage, which can pose a risk to patients. Therefore, the use of HVAC management systems is important in maintaining the quality of hospital services by ensuring that the equipment is properly maintained and functioning.

Conserves energy

Energy use in hospitals is higher than in many commercial office buildings. For the majority of the day, they have large machines like MRI, CT, and other devices operating at maximum efficiency. Therefore, it’s crucial to cut expenditures wherever you can. In hospitals, that is made possible via an HVAC management system. One can simply install a central unit that spreads its air conditioning throughout several rooms as opposed to installing individual air conditioning units for each room.

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Conclusion

A hospital is a crucial space for medical care and healing. Modern multi-speciality hospitals that accommodate thousands of patients at once benefit greatly from HVAC management systems. It is, therefore, safe to claim that these systems are essential for hospitals to operate efficiently. In the most important health applications, the air serves as more than just a conduit; it also functions as a safeguard. The right airflow direction enhances the likelihood that healthcare applications will successfully scavenge pollutants. A better architectural design might result from placing the HVAC management system's supply and extraction ports in the most advantageous locations, making it the most effective hygiene measure in hospitals.


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