Pure Air Control Services Inc., will feature building health, occupant comfort and HVAC energy efficiency at Building Operating Management’s National Facilities Management and Technology Expo 2018.
Baltimore MD, Facility Managers know the daily grind of juggling multiple assets and systems to keep their buildings operating the best they can. Often times budgets and maintenance programs are put at odds. Preventative maintenance quickly becomes deferred maintenance. This is when the vast majority of indoor air quality (IAQ) and HVAC energy efficiency issues begin to occur. In most cases addressing these issues later rather than sooner end up costing more in downtime and dollars spent.
We spend 90% of our time in shared, indoor environments. If something is amiss, it can wreak havoc on the organization’s biggest asset within their building: the people! Consider that a World Health Organization (WHO) report found that 1 in 3 buildings are afflicted with Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) which affects 64 million U.S. workers. These workers experience two or more of the following symptoms that can lead to lost productivity or absence: Nose irritation, Eye irritation and Headaches. SBS can be attributed to the failing of key performance metrics in a building operations and engineering, including the HVAC system.
Consider this, less than 3/16 of an inch of fouling across an evaporator coil can decrease the efficiency of that air handling unit by 21% or more! That performance hit, combined with a cool, damp, environment creates the worst-case scenario for mold and bacteria growth which can affect building occupants!
Pure Air Control Services Inc., will be talking about how they have helped their clientele to improve IAQ and energy efficiency at Booth 2515. On display will be their three specialized divisions, Building Sciences, Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory, and Building Remediation Sciences. Each of these teams works together to provide testing, analysis and engineered solutions to optimize facility IAQ and HVAC system performance, including energy efficiency.
At the booth will be an interactive HVAC evaporator coil demonstration to shows the efficacy of Pure Air’s proprietary PURE-Steam coil cleaning method compared to doing nothing to a clogged coil. The demo also outlines the benefits of their HVAC New Life total hygienic restoration. This unique restoration process allows facilities to extend the life of aging HVAC equipment for 1/10th of the cost of total replacement! IAQ Solutions Specialists will be on hand to discuss IAQ problem solving through testing and remediation services that can put building health and energy efficiency back on track!
Baltimore Convention Center
About Pure Air Control Services, Inc.
Pure Air Control Services, Inc. was established in 1984 as a small, mechanical, contracting firm and has since set the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis, environmental laboratory and remediation. Pure Air Control Services has serviced more than 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.
The company’s nationally performed services include: Building Sciences evaluations; Building Health Check IAQ assessments; a CDC ELITE Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; HVAC New Life Restoration and PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning/Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services.
A new survey has found office workers who don’t clean up their workspace put everyone’s health at risk, according to an article on the TechTimes website.
Printerland, a reseller of printers in the UK, surveyed more than 1,000 office workers and found two-thirds of them didn’t clean up their workspace regularly. One in 10 workers said they cleaned their desk once a month, while another 9 percent said they never cleaned their space.
By not cleaning, office workers in messy environments are at risk from harmful bacteria, including Helicobacter pylori, Staphylococcus aureus, E-coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The messy office showed that bugs are present on office chairs (21,000 germs per square inch) and desks, desktops (20,961 germs per square inch), keyboards (3,295 germs per square inch), computer mice (1,676 germs per square inch), and office phones (25,127 germs per square inch), according to the article.
Plus, at least 90 percent of office mugs contain harmful germs on their surface, which 20 percent of them carry fecal bacteria. Charles Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, recommended employees take their coffee mugs and dishes home every night to clean.
Proper cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched objects and areas reduces the spread of viruses by 80 to 90 percent. Gerba suggests cleaning office items, such as phones and desks with antibacterial spray at least once a week. In addition, office chairs should be vacuumed.
To reduce cross-contamination, cleaning personnel should make sure restroom are stocked with soap and towels. However, since restrooms may be taxed, hand sanitizer should also be made available. Setting up hand sanitizer stations in common areas, such as lobbies and breakrooms, as well as frequently used collaborative spaces, will encourage use, especially by occupants who feel they are too busy to visit the restrooms to wash hands when needed.
In its 16th year now, National Healthy Schools Day seeks to inform the public of health risks that can affect children in educational and child care settings
April 3, 2018, Clearwater FL — The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported that 50% of all schools have problems with indoor air quality (IAQ). IAQ issues can be comprised of a complex mix of sources including aging facility infrastructure, deferred maintenance, fouled HVAC systems, dirty ducts, and the use of toxic products for cleaning, among other contributing factors. Every year since 2002, National Healthy Schools Day mission is to inform the administrators and public on these vital issues in an effort to bring awareness and change to the maintenance and safety of educational institutions across the country. The EPA urges schools to “Use the day to take the necessary steps to effectively manage the indoor air quality in your schools, ensuring you are providing your students and staff with a healthy learning environment.”
The focus of National Healthy Schools Day 2018is lead. According to the EPA, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the American Academy of Pediatrics there is no safe level of lead for any child. Like many other indoor environmental hazards common to schools, lead has long been ignored. However, more schools and child care facilities are becoming more proactive on lead, especially in drinking water. But the fact remains that lead is ubiquitous throughout an educational environment such as in building and instructional materials, as well as other products and even the soil on the property’s grounds.
“It is time to put children first and end lead and other risks to all children in school and child care,” said Claire Barnett, Executive Director of Healthy Schools Network, the national not-for-profit that co-founded and hosts Healthy Schools Day. She added, “For the 16th annual Day, we thank all the education and health leaders and staff in the states who have recognized the high cost of lead and other toxics to the future of children and are taking action to find and to reduce risks in school and child care settings.”
The good news is more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of optimal IAQ in the learning environment. This year a record number of 59 NGOs nationwide are engaged in the event.
Who is most affected?
Across the U.S. over 55 million children and 7 million adults occupy 130,000 public and private schools. Add to that another 11 million children in child care facilities. All totaled, over 1/5 of the U.S. population is in one of these institutions on a daily basis. Today there are fewer public schools than in year’s past, but more children in them and with less federal and state funding. Schools in disadvantaged communities are often in the worst condition from an architectural and infrastructure standpoint. This can likely correlate to these facilities having the most lead in their buildings’ paint and water systems.
What can be done to improve IAQ?
The first step to finding and fixing IAQ issues is to have a proactive administrative and facilities team willing to invest in the building health of their education institutions. This means having their facilities regularly tested, not just for lead but for the myriad of factors that can deteriorate the health of the indoor environment.
“One of our main focuses has been creating healthy learning environments so students can achieve higher academic learning in healthy buildings,” says Alan Wozniak, President of Pure Air Control Services, Inc., “Our Building Sciences team is constantly working with both k-12 and higher education institutions to proactively test and report on the IAQ in their facilities. If issues are found, the detailed reports provided are integral in the remediation process to get the building back to an optimal state of operations and a healthy learning environment.”
IAQ testing can encompass the entire building envelope or concentrate on a specific area on interest in a forensic level investigation of an issue. In the case of lead, water, surface and air samples can be taken from the indoor environment and sent to a laboratory for in-depth analysis. The lab can then qualify and quantify what is in the samples to help determine the severity of the issue in the specific locations where the samples were collected. Of course if concentrations are found and report the proper corrective remediation actions must be taken.
IAQ testing can also be conducted for other issues that can affect the health of a building and its occupants. Things like bacteria, dust mites, fungi (mold) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can all proliferate in the indoor environment. They often act as allergy and asthma triggers which can affect student performance and attendance. Dust and debris built up inside of the HVAC system not only contributes to these allergen triggers, but also can decrease the performance of the equipment which can lead higher humidity and CO2 levels within a building. Not to mention higher energy costs.
National Healthy Schools Day is an important advocacy event that helps bring awareness to the importance of good IAQ for educational institutions throughout the U.S. With this in mind, more schools should be encouraged to take a proactive approach to their indoor environment to ensure healthy facilities for their students and staff all year long.
It seems as if this year’s long, widespread flu season should be coming to an end, but parents—especially those with younger children—should stay diligent when it comes to spotting influenza symptoms. There could be a second wave of the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In the CDC’s most recent weekly report, the organization says that though the overall percentage of influenza activity is decreasing, the proportion of influenza B viruses is increasing, and there were more reports of the influenza B than influenza A during week 11 of this year. For the majority of the flu season, which began in October 2017, most cases reported were influenza A, but in the past week, 59 percent of all confirmed cases were influenza B.
What does all that mean? Parents should be aware that even if their kids were diagnosed with influenza A, they could still get sick with the influenza B virus. “We know that illness associated with influenza B can be just as severe as illness associated with influenza A,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund told CNN. “We also know that influenza B tends to be more severe for younger children.”
The possibility of another round of the flu isn’t good news, but it’s also not that surprising. “We often see a wave of influenza B during seasons when influenza A H3N2 was the predominant virus earlier in the season,” Nordlund told the network. “Unfortunately, we don’t know what the influenza B wave will look like.”
The CDC reports that there have been 133 pediatric deaths as a result of this year’s flu season, with five deaths reported in the past week alone. Young children—as well as older adults and pregnant women—are at a higher risk for contracting the flu. According to the CDC’s website, annual vaccinations are the best way to prevent the flu and the “potentially severe complications” the virus causes in children.
Well Living Lab will undertake a three-year scientific research plan to identify how indoor environments affect five facets of people’s lives.
How indoor environments affect five significant facets of people’s lives—health, performance, stress and resiliency, sleep, and comfort—will be the focus of an extensive three-year scientific research plan conducted by the Well Living Lab. Studies will examine the five factors for homes, workplaces, and independent living communities. A critical component of the research is the interplay of elements such as sound, lighting, temperature, and air quality, all of which can be altered in various combinations to uncover positive, neutral, and negative effects on people.
“Our responsibility is to advance the science by conducting human-centered research that can be used in practical ways,” said Brent Bauer, M.D., medical director of the Well Living Lab and director of medicine for Mayo Clinic’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program. “It’s our belief that favorable outcomes can be realized, which will have long term benefits for people’s lives.”
A variety of experiments will be reviewed, approved, and monitored by the Institutional Review Board of Mayo Clinic. Questions to be explored include:
How office workers respond to artificial lighting that simulates natural light, not just at work, but also how it may change their ability to get sufficient sleep at home.
How changes in environmental conditions affect sleep and stress.
What types interventions can increase cognitive performance and improve job satisfaction.
The research will further build on the results of the Well Living Lab’s latest study findings, published in Building and Environment. The study found that temperature, noise, and lighting in open office environments affect employees’ ability to get work done. This was a proof-of concept study that demonstrated the strength of living lab methodology in measuring realistic occupant responses to select environmental changes in an open office. Specifically, it indicated that employees are most sensitive to thermal conditions, followed by work-related noise such as conversations and lack of natural light from windows when working in open office environments.These factors affected work environment satisfaction, productivity, and even carried over into the mood of employees and their sleep.
The study consisted of eight working age participants who spent 18 weeks in a simulated work environment in which acoustics, lighting, and temperature were manipulated in numerous combinations, and the findings were based on occupant responses to surveys and in-depth interviews.
“We want to understand the effect of environmental conditions and combinations of conditions to improve health and well-being, including performance, comfort, stress and resilience, and sleep,” said Dr. Bauer. “This study is just the beginning. We will continue to explore the relationship of environmental factors in the workplace and at home.”
The direction for this scientific exploration was solidified by Mayo Clinic and Delos, as well as the lab’s scientific advisory board with members from academia and governmental institutions including Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Carnegie Mellon University; National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases; Stanford University; University of California; UC Berkley; US General Services Administration and University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands.
“We know that passive design elements in our homes, offices, and buildings can contribute to our health and well-being,” said Peter Scialla, COO of Delos and co-chair of the Well Living Lab’s Joint Steering Committee. “This research will further advance change for the building industry and result in innovative design, products, materials, and technologies.”
Think of these situations: you might get a runny nose from time to time. You are having a relaxing evening on the couch with your loved one and, out of the blue, you start sneezing, and your eyes get watery. If you know to have allergies, then you probably have already taken care of allergens around your house. But did you?
If you have an apparently spotless house, and still get allergy symptoms than it is most likely that you have mold in your house. With mold comes the common mold allergy. It is that simple. Only it is not that simple to see all mold spots around your house.
It might not seem that big of a deal at first, but a mold allergy can lead to nasty complications. A simple allergy can turn into mold-induced asthma or even hypersensitivity pneumonitis. We recommend you call a specialist to at least give your house a thorough inspection. That is where Fun Guy Inspections come into play!
But I have already cleaned my house of mold! There were some ugly spots, and I have cleaned them with vinegar.” That is fine and all, but in the case of mold infections, vinegar is not enough. The main risk factors that cause a mold allergy are high humidity in your house, mold hidden behind the paint on the walls, and general mold exposure. These factors are hard to detect without a unique tool. At Fun Guy Inspections we have all it needs for your house to become mold free.
We can inspect, track and remove all the mold that you might not even know you have. Once every room and corner in your house will be clean, you can expect improvements in your health. A mold allergy has no chance of developing in a mold-free environment. And we make sure that you have such an environment.
The most important thing you need to know about the mold allergy is this: if you get long-term exposure to mold, you might get allergic to it, among other health risks. As we said earlier, mold found under the paint, and even in walls, so you cannot know for sure if you have it around your house. Our certified inspectors from Fun Guy Inspections have the necessary equipment to find where mold is hiding in your household. They come to you, take the steps required to identify mold spots and then talk to you about what you need to do.
You will feel improvements in the mold allergy almost immediately. When your body comes into a mold-free environment, you will be sure about the problem you had. To keep your house in a pristine condition, we recommend having proper ventilation around the house. Poor airflow in a building makes mold easier to form and infest your home.
You know the risks, and you know the people to get rid of them. If you want to know if mold is the culprit of your allergy, call for the Fun Guy Inspections mold removing services.
Large commercial ceiling fans are typically seen as making a bold statement in a building’s design, but all you have to look at is the science behind the big fan to understand that these large fans are more than just for show and more about how they make people feel. Design is being redefined according to the human comfort of the end-user, and now more than ever, design is about helping the clients become more resourceful, resilient, and regenerative. From facilities as large as industrial warehouses to buildings as small as specialty coffee shops, large industrial fans in many shapes and sizes are being utilized—seemingly everywhere—to create environments where people want to gather and thrive.
Breathe Well, Be Well
MacroAir invented the large ceiling fan not just for cooling or heating but for a greater purpose; the fans create comfort which ultimately leads to human wellness. If you have ever been cooped up inside a building with stale and stagnant air, you are aware of how that feeling can slow you down a bit. In contrast, if you have worked in a building that has good air movement and ventilation, you can find yourself being more motivated, productive, and collaborative.
These large commercial ceiling fans help thermally equalize a space by moving air in the most efficient way possible.The fans use their long airfoil blades to move high volumes of air at low speeds, which provides a balanced airflow without the kind of disruptive air movement that could blow the hat off of your head. The end result is a gentle breeze that circulates the air, improving comfort and indoor air quality. This puts less demand on HVAC systems, reduces moisture, and, most importantly, makes the occupants of a building feel more comfortable.
What Do the Fans Do to You?
Think about the feeling you get when you are outdoors on a day when the air is crisp and the temperature is just right. You feel motivated to engage in outdoor activities because you feel good. Running, walking your dog, eating dinner outside, or socializing with friends is more appealing when fresh air is a factor. Large ceiling fans can help bring that feeling of being outdoors by getting fresh air into an indoor space through optimal air movement. When the fans create a comfortable environment, human comfort and productivity increase.
Fans for Human Wellness
The end user’s demand for buildings to provide a human wellness factor will only continue to grow. Next-generation airflow solutions—including large ceiling fans—are becoming a primary factor that not only impacts the entire built environment but also affect how occupants feel inside of various spaces. So when you walk into building and you feel a gentle breeze and the temperature feels just right, don’t forget to look up at and see the future of indoor air quality.
Molds are everywhere. It may not be seen by your naked eyes but you are will not be so sure about their existence. Mold is a kind of fungi that grows from different spots. All of us are exposed from variety of molds that can affect our health.
How sure you are that your homes are free from any threats of molds? Let us now talk about how mold gets inside your homes and other premises.
Our idea about mold is that it grows naturally outdoors. Looking at the positive part, mold is a fungus that serves as earth’s most important recyclers. The only problem is that when a mold combined with water damage and exposed to prolonged humidity and dampness, that is the moment where mold now become a threat to one’s life.
Here are some of those common sources of indoor moisture that can lead to mold problems,
Leak and damage roofs
Poor management of rainwater drainage
Process of condensation
When you observed the above mention scenario inside your homes and within your vicinity, then you need to make some immediate actions to solve the problems.
How to prevent molds growth?
Prevention is always better than any cure. It is better to do something early than suffering consequences. One way to prevent mold growth is to control excessive moisture and condensation. Since molds grow critically because of the presence of water damage and excessive moisture then you need to be at those points in the first place.
What are the top three factors that contribute in condensation of water resulting to mold?
Poor Ventilation. If your place has a little access on air, there is a greater chance of an increased in condensation and mold growth. There are spots in our homes when there is a little supply of air the reason why that even though we keep on cleaning our place, molds existence is still there.
Temperature Changes. More warm air means more moisture generated. If we will not be mindful about the temperature of our home, there will be a great chance of mold formation
Relative Humidity. When air is saturated, condensation occurs resulting to situation where it can no longer hold any moisture. When there is condensation, then mold is the counterpart. In order to maintain humidity levels, used of dehumidifiers is advised.
If you are having a hard time dealing with molds you can have some help and learn more from experts.
Fun Guy Inspections is one of the leading companies that can sure help you resolve your mold problems.
There are lots of mold removal services that are present in your place but not all can give guaranteed service. Choose wisely! Choose Fun Guy Inspections. This is a company that perfectly designs to help you out to solve your mold problems. There were always solutions for every mold problem with Fun Guy Infections.
TAMPA (FOX 13) – A day at the office could be making some people sick. And when businesses have a problem, many call Francisco Aguirre’s company PureAir Control Services in Clearwater to fix it.
Think of them as sick building sleuths.
“‘Sick building syndrome’ is a term used to describe a combination of non-specific ailments that are temporarily associated with the workplace,” Francisco said. “I have seen buildings that are brand new, and they have not even been finished for occupancy and they are already experiencing indoor air quality problems.”
Discomfort can be caused by bacteria, fungi, dust, and believe it or not, lights.
“Lights can also give you headaches, watery eyes and things like that,” Aguirre explained.
But there could be something more to some people’s symptoms.
Dr. Richard Lockey, an indoor air quality expert and director of allergy and immunology at the University of South Florida, believes there are other contributing factors.
“We have found that buildings are much cleaner in which people work than their own homes,” Lockey told us. “Some homes are so filthy that we can’t believe it when we go in and test what’s in the home. Yet people don’t complain about their homes, they complain about the building. So there’s a disconnect there.”
According to the World Health Organization, a third of all buildings have air quality concerns. But Dr. Lockey has a word of caution.
“It’s important for physicians and other healthcare professionals to properly evaluate these patients so you don’t inappropriately accuse a builder or owner of a building of something that doesn’t exist,” he said.
In the end, whatever you think is making you sick at work could be real or imagined, but both experts agree that poor air filtration in the workplace and at home can lead to some allergy-like symptoms.
Be sure to replace filters regularly, and make sure all ventilation systems are working properly.
CARLINVILLE – Following years of mold troubles in one of its residence halls, Blackburn College administrators have decided to sue the company that installed its heating and air conditioning system, alleging that poor design triggered a dorm-wide mold outbreak.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Macoupin County court, is seeking at least $600,000 in damages from Henson Robinson Co., the Springfield-based HVAC company that performed the design and installation of the system in Jewell Hall, the largest of the college’s six dormitories. Administrators estimated mold cleanup had cost the school at least $200,000 and that tearing out the system and replacing it will cost $400,000.
In the lawsuit, which presents only one side of a case, administrators said the HVAC system, which was installed in 2012 and 2013 at a cost of $322,986, was a problem from the beginning.
“From the onset, the system installed by Henson Robinson experienced problems with its functionality,” the lawsuit said. “For example, Henson Robinson’s design did not fit the space available for piping, there were various issues with condensate lines and related design issues. Blackburn worked to ensure Henson Robinson addressed these issues and in the summer of 2013, Jewell Hall was turned over to Blackburn for student use.”
More failures followed, the lawsuit contends. According to the suit, “once turned over to Blackburn, the condensate pumps immediately failed and additional sweating and leaks occurred with the system along with thermostat problems in virtually all of the dormitory rooms.”
Then, in October 2014, students living in Jewell Hall began complaining of mold growth in their rooms. The college moved the students to different rooms while the mold was cleared. While the college battled mold for nearly two years, the problem eventually became so significant that administrators arranged for a major inspection in December 2016. Students were paid to put their belongings into storage for the duration of the inspection. According to the suit, the inspection turned up mold in nearly every room in Jewel Hall. College administrators hired an outside firm to determine what was causing the problems.
“After investigation and sampling, Blackburn’s consultants concluded that the mold growth in Jewell Hall was attributable to extreme levels of humidity … trapped in Jewell Hall dormitory by the system designed and installed by defendant,” the suit said. “Likewise, Blackburn’s consultants concluded that the [HVAC system] had been ‘over-designed’ in such a manner as to create negative pressure in the Jewell Hall dorms resulting in significantly increased humidity and mold growth.”
Henson Robinson, according to the court filing, has denied any responsibility. Lawyers for the college said the company recommended students leave their windows open to address the problem and called the refusal to take responsibility for the mold problem “shocking.”
According to the filings, the mold problem is ongoing, and students are still displaced as a result.