Tampa 7/31/2013 8:14:24 PM
News / Health & Wellness

Hospitals Get a “Clean Bill of Health” with Innovative IAQ/Energy Solutions

Keeping a pristine HVAC system and evaporator coil has done wonders in improving hospital IAQ and improving energy savings

In the past twenty years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within buildings and homes can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors. 

So what’s the concern in hospitals?

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients acquire during the course of receiving healthcare treatment for other conditions. These infections related to medical care can be devastating and even deadly. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in hospitals  impose significant economic consequences on the nation’s healthcare system. The most comprehensive national estimate of the annual direct medical costs due to HAIs (published in 1992) was based on the results from the Study on the Efficacy of Nosocomial Infection Control (SENIC) that was conducted in the mid-1970s. With an incidence of approximately 4.5 HAIs for every 100 hospital admissions, the annual direct costs on the healthcare system were estimated to be $4.5 billion in 1992 dollars. Adjusting for the rate of inflation using the CPI for all urban consumers, this estimate is approximately $6.65 billion in 2007 dollars.

What can be done?

With ‘‘healthcare-associated infection’’ or ‘‘HAI’’ on the rise many healthcare facilities have adjusted their maintenance protocols or standard operating procedures (SOP’s) adopting the innovative PURE-Steam coil cleaning and HVAC cleaning process to help keep the hospitals airstream clean and sterile. 

Many healthcare facilities have gone GREEN outsourcing Pure Air Control Services PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning processes and/or HVAC cleaning in an effort to boost their HVAC maintenance services while saving energy on their utility bills and improving overall IAQ.

Keeping a pristine HVAC system and evaporator coil has done wonders in improving hospital IAQ while improving energy savings. The process is totally GREEN – uses no chemicals, utilizes a proprietary (up to) 350 degree steam generated along with a high volume coil flush out system to remove the latent debris from deep within the coils.  The PURE-Steam process sterilizes the coils, creates better air flow, better cooling capacity, saves energy while improving indoor air quality. 

Why not chemicals? 

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critically important aspect for healthcare facilities. With conventional coil cleaning methods chemicals will run into the ground, are spilled or improperly disposed of, a portion will evaporate, but some will soak into the ground. In soil, chemicals may be carried deeper by rain, water or snow melt and eventually reach the groundwater table. When chemicals migrate underground to nearby wells, they can eventually end up in drinking water supplies. In addition, chemical cleaning only cleans the visible surface of the fins and does not provide a deep cleansing.

Pure Air Control Services a national leading IAQ service provider has taken Going GREEN to a whole new level.  Most chemical companies today, large and small, are anxious to become greener. They select greener starting materials and use cleaner chemical processes to make environmentally preferred products though there is no authoritative marketplace criteria to identify green, greener, or greenest.  The greenest and cleanest cleaning solution available today for cleaning of air conditioning coils is PURE-Steam, a no chemical cleaning process that creates significant energy savings, improves the environment and promotes healthy indoor air quality.

Cooling coils use tubing arranged in a series of loops and fins and their purpose is to transfer heat from one fluid to another (e.g. water to air, refrigerants to air, air to air etc.). Aluminum and copper fins are attached to the coils to increase the exposure surface and the rate of heat transfer. In the 1970s and early 1980s the cooling coils had typically 8 to 12 fins per inch, but due to increasing energy costs and mandated energy efficiency ratings, it is not uncommon seeing coils today manufactured with 16 and 18 fins per inch arranged in complex zigzag patterns. Unfortunately, these high efficiency coils are extremely susceptible to blockage from dust accumulation.  Once debris, pollen, construction materials and dust penetrates inside the coil they become lodged within the fins allowing for bacteria and mold to initiate growth.  This condition causes excessive operating costs, comfort control problems and unhealthy sanitary conditions that are not conducive to good indoor air quality.

Research Concludes the Effectiveness of Steam Cleaning of HVAC Coils

Research on heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems has indicated that microbial contamination is an immediate problem when it concerns the indoor environment and human health. A study was performed to determine the effectiveness of steam cleaning latent clogged debris from on or within evaporator coils of an HVAC that is restricting air flow, as well as causing poor air quality.

A dusty, debris laden and clogged HVAC coil was treated with steam generated at 350ºC through a proprietary jet covering an area of 4’’ X 1” vertically at a time. Environmental bulk samples for microbiological (bacteria/fungi) evaluation were collected before and after steam sanitization from the front central face (fin) area of the coil.

The test results indicate that the steam cleaning is 99.99% effective in removing microbial contaminants and other debris. The results indicated an increase in air flow 37%, and a decrease in static pressure of 50%, leading significantly towards optimal coil performance.

For complete research paper go to:  Evaluation of Steam Cleaning in AHU Coil Sanitization and Energy Conservation

For additional information or for a FREE quote on the PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning process for your healthcare or facility call Alan Wozniak 1-800-422-7873 ext 802.

About Pure Air Control Services:

Founded in 1984 by Alan Wozniak, President/CEO in what began as a small mechanical contracting business has grown into an award winning, industry leading indoor air quality (IAQ) service company serving many fortune 500 corporations, school boards, universities, county, city, state and federal governments and consumers across the US.  The firm has serviced over 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.

Pure Air Control Services nationally performed IAQ services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; an AIHA accredited Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; and Duct Cleaning & Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services. The company’s expanding client roster includes the General Services Administration (GSA); Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Allstate Insurance; Carrier Air Conditioning; Naval Air Warfare Center, Orlando; and Naval Air Station - King's Bay, Georgia, and many other Fortune 500 companies, school boards, and city, state, and county governments, making Pure Air a reliable industry leader.

For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.pureaircontrols.com or contact Alan Wozniak 1-800-422-PURE (7873) ext 802