Holistic HVAC hygiene is a common sense, proactive maintenance concept. It demonstrates how each component of an HVAC system works together to provide fresh air exchange and temperature control in a building. A single component being compromised can have a chain effect on the rest of the system and impact building health. Let’s take a brief look at how holistic HVAC hygiene can be tested and maintained.
Basic HVAC Function & Design
The HVAC system is designed to provide heating, ventilation and cooling to a building. Hence the acronym “HVAC”. Think of it like the respiratory system of the building. In the most basic sense the ventilation part of the HVAC system consists of the air handler units (AHU), ductwork, and sometimes variable air volume (VAV) boxes within the ducts. The AHU has dampers, return plenums, filters, evaporator coils, heating coils, drain pans, fans, motors, insulation and supply plenums. Holistic HVAC hygiene accounts for the cleanliness of all of these components at a systemic level. Deficiencies in any of these areas quickly compound throughout the system and affect Indoor Air Quality.
Measurement & Verification
There are a couple of ways to get insights on holistic HVAC hygiene. Often times HVAC maintenance, including duct cleaning is deferred. However, the old adage “Out of sight, out of mind” is not always the case. Occupants, in many cases, are the first to report HVAC hygiene or IAQ issues by observation. Odors, degraded comfort, and an influx in allergies while in a building can all indicate a problem with the HVAC system. Occupant complaints should be taken seriously and act as a catalyst for professional IAQ testing.
True visibility into holistic HVAC hygiene is provided by measurement and verification testing. Building Sciences at Pure Air Control Services conducts indoor air and environmental testing for HVAC systems.
The HVAC Hygiene Assessment investigates both cleanliness and performance criteria and reports on the conditions. The system is visually inspected then air and surface samples are collected from the different components. These samples are then analyzed by our Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory for microbial and other factors like bacteria, mold and particulates. Performance data like differential pressure, total air supply in cubic feet per minute, temperature differential, cooling output, relative humidity and more is collected to determine the system’s impact on the building. When significant problems are found, recommendations for correction are made.
Remote IAQ Monitoring
Another way to keep an eye on the holistic HVAC hygiene conditions is with the IAQ Guard real-time monitoring program. IAQ Guard is a set of wireless remote sensors placed throughout a building’s HVAC zones. These sensors continuously monitor specific IAQ parameters like temperature, humidity, CO2, particulates, and VOC. The real-time data is sent via a node to a cloud-based dashboard that Building Sciences uses to detect trends and anomalies in the building envelope. If any of the monitored parameters trend outside of normal baseline conditions an alert is sent, and corrective action can be taken before the situation worsens. IAQ Guard is great for ongoing proactive monitoring and is also used in conjunction with sensitive remediation or construction projects.
Holistic HVAC Hygiene Maintenance
Maintaining the HVAC system needs to be a number one priority for facility managers. After all, it is the number one factor affecting building and occupant health. Building Remediation Sciences at Pure Air Control Services provides a suite of engineered solutions to keep your building’s HVAC system in great shape!
PURE-Duct is an IAQ driven duct cleaning service. It is performed with maximum containment to minimize the risk of cross contamination. A high attention to detail is not only paid to cleaning ductwork, but also other inline components such as VAV boxes, reheat coils and smoke detectors.
PURE-Steam is a Green Clean Institute certified solution that disinfects the entire AHU and deeply cleans HVAC coils. There have been many white papers and case studies published about its efficacy. PURE-Steam effectively eliminates microbes and restores operational efficiency.
HVAC New Life adds antimicrobial coatings, drain pan liners and closed cell insulation with PURE-Steam to restore aging AHU’s for additional years of service. It can be procured with CAPEX and far more cost effective than new replacement.
The combination of these routine cleaning services and IAQ testing/monitoring ensure optimal holistic HVAC hygiene. It not only benefits building occupants but also the bottom line.
For more information on IAQ testing or our engineered solutions please call 1-800-422-7873 or contact us here.
Registration Now Open for IAQA’s 2019 Annual Meeting
The IAQA Annual Meeting will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis
265 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30303
3-Day Conference Registration
- Access to the 40+ sessions in this year’s Technical Program
- Access to final papers and presentations
- Eligibility for Continuing Education Credits
- AHR Expo & Exclusive IAQA VIP Service (January 14– 16)
- Welcome Reception (January 14)
- Networking Coffee and Danish (January 14-16)
- Conference Lunch (January 15)
- Annual Meeting of the General Membership (January 15)
- Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony (January 15)
- Discussion Panels (January 14-16)
Oct 22 –
Nov 17 –
|IAQA Member – First Attendee
|IAQA Member – Additional Attendees*
|Non-Member – First Attendee
|Non-Member – Additional Attendees*
To join IAQA, please visit www.iaqa.org/membership.
*Additional attendee registration is open to employees within the same company.
Pre-conference Workshops will be held on January 13, 2019.
|“Cannabis! Fentanyl! Methampetamine! Oh My”
Presented by Susan Kimball and Coreen Robbins
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
|“Novel and Traditional Microbiological Methods for Common Indoor Microbial Investigations”
Presented by Wei Tang
8:30 am – 12:30 pm
|“Infection Prevention Considerations in Healthcare Design, Construction, and Maintenance”
Presented by JJ Jenkins
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
|“Indoor Air Quality Monitoring – A New Toolkit for the 21st Century”
Presented by Louie Chang
8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Daily Conference Registration
- Access to the full day’s technical sessions
- Access to final papers and presentations
- Eligibility for Continuing Education Credits
- Admission to the AHR Expo, the world’s largest HVACR expo
|Monday, January 14, 2019 ONLY
|Tuesday, January 15, 2019 ONLY
|Wednesday, January 16, 2019 ONLY
Spouse registration can only be purchased with a full three-day registration package. Spouses are not allowed entry into the IAQA Technical Program. This additional fee includes admission to:
- AHR Expo (January 14 – 16)
- Conference Lunch (January 14)
- Welcome Reception (January 13)
- Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony (January 14)
CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancellation requests must be sent in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 14, 2019. Cancellations are subject to a $75 per person service fee that will be deducted from your refund. Refunds are not available after January 14, 2019, under any circumstances, but substitute attendees will be accepted.
Article Source: http://www.iaqa.org/annual-meeting/registration-information/
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
For more information or to register for the conference please click here.
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.
Article Source: http://pureaircontrols.com/facility-managers-learn-iaq-hvac-energy-efficiency/
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in San Francisco on Thursday ordered the Trump administration to implement energy-use limits for portable air conditioners and other products that were adopted during the last days of the Obama presidency.
The U.S. Department of Energy was required to put the energy-efficiency standards into effect after a 45-day period to identify any errors and did not have the authority to continue to assess them, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said.
The ruling came in two lawsuits — one filed by New York, California and other states and the other by environmental groups.
The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately comment. The lawsuits over the energy standards are among a spate of legal actions challenging decisions by the Trump administration to roll back environmental protections.
The states argued that the new standards would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save businesses and consumers billions of dollars, and conserve enough energy to power more than 19 million households for a year.
Chhabria gave the DOE 28 days to publish the standards — the step needed to make them legally enforceable.
The Obama administration signed off on them in December 2016 and posted them online for a 45-day review period intended to spot any errors.
Chhabria said the Trump administration did not have the authority assess, modify or withdraw an energy standard after that period.
The other states in the lawsuit are: Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Maryland. The City of New York is also a plaintiff.
Article Source: http://www.telegraphherald.com/ap/business/article_92ad26a9-b419-5206-8b50-7cc2461a956b.html
A newly developed Environmental Scoring System (ESS) proved useful in a variety of home-based asthma intervention programs despite differences in settings, staffing, populations, and administration.
The ESS was developed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to help address the highest asthma prevalence in adults among US states. Massachusetts is also confronting one of the highest percentage of children with uncontrolled asthma and the associated high rates of emergency department visits, hospital admissions and school absenteeism, according to rankings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Zhao Dong, MS, ScD, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, and colleagues who tested the ESS in several community-based programs considered these healthcare challenges, and the efforts to address them.
“There is evidence that asthma disparities can be substantially reduced by comprehensive care, both through the health care system and through home-based intervention programs,” they wrote.
The ESS yields a composite score ranging from 0 to 6 from a binary score of 0 or 1 for each of 6 asthma triggers: dust, mold, pests, smoke, pets, and chemicals. In preliminary assessments, the ESS was reduced at the end of a series of home visit interventions. The questions remained as to whether the ESS could be incorporated into various and differing intervention programs and relate to clinical outcomes.
“Given the large variability in the implementation of specific asthma programs and design of survey questions to collect information on asthma triggers, it is unclear whether ESS would be a good approach for measuring environmental triggers and predicting asthma outcomes across different programs and populations,” Dong and colleagues wrote.
In an editorial accompanying the evaluation of the ESS, Delaney Gracy, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Children’s Health Fund, New York, NY, emphasized the importance of developing and validating such tools.
“In a time when our health system is increasingly focused on quality measures, value-based care incentive models, and quantitative impact assessment, well-designed tools, methods and comparative values are keys to meaningful data and the assimilation of information that can drive change,” Gracy wrote.
Dong and colleagues evaluated the ESS in 6 community asthma intervention programs, including the Boston Public Health Commission Asthma Home Visit Program (BPHC), the Boston Children’s Hospital Community Asthma Initiative (CAI), and Tufts Medical Center Floating Hospital for Children Asthma Prevention and Asthma Initiative (Tufts).
Among all participants, the completion of intervention visits was marked by an increase in the average of total scores on the Asthma Control Test, corresponding to reduction in symptoms, and a reduction in the number of emergency department visits and in ESS scores. The magnitude and statistical significance of the changes varied between programs, however.
Dong and colleagues found that statistically significant reduction in total ESS was primarily driven by reduction in the mold score in the BPHC and CAI programs.
“Nevertheless, total ES was able to capture the overall variability in environmental triggers over visits regardless of the performance of each individual score,” they wrote.
All the studied programs improved asthma outcomes to varying degrees, and the ESS tool appeared to be widely implementable, without much variation of program and survey designs, Dong and colleagues indicated.
Gracy welcomed evidence that the measure could be useful to the intervention programs.
“This type of tool has the potential to be very important in creating needed cross-program comparisons, setting benchmarks of success, accumulating impact data to support intervention reimbursement, and facilitating the impact assessment of individual programs,” Gracy wrote.
The study, “Evaluation of the Environmental Scoring System in Multiple Child Asthma Intervention Programs in Boston, Massachusetts,” was published online in the American Journal of Public Health.
Article Source: http://www.mdmag.com/medical-news/environmental-measure-aides-asthma-interventions
After an Inspection
An inspection of your workplace was conducted in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Executive Order 12196, and 29 CFR Part 1960, Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters. The compliance safety and health officer (CSHO) who conducted the inspection has found conditions that are in violation of the Act, Executive Order 12196, or 29 CFR Part 1960, and you have been issued a Notice of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions, OSHA-2H Form (OSHA Notice) that explains in detail the exact nature of the alleged violation(s).
This pamphlet contains important information regarding your rights and responsibilities under the Act, Executive Order 12196, and 29 CFR Part 1960. For each apparent violation found during the inspection, the compliance officer discussed the following with you:
The nature of the violation,
Possible abatement measures you may take to correct the violative condition, and
Possible abatement dates you may be required to meet.
Types of Violations
WILLFUL: A willful violation is defined as a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.
SERIOUS: A serious violation exists when the workplace hazard could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, unless the employer did not know or could not have known of the violation.
REPEATED: A Federal agency may be cited for a repeated violation if the agency has been cited previously for the same or a substantially similar condition and, for a serious violation, OSHA’s regionwide (see last page) inspection history for the agency lists a previous OSHA Notice issued within the past five years; or, for an other-than-serious violation, the establishment being inspected received a previous OSHA Notice issued within the past five years.
OTHER-THAN-SERIOUS: A violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but is not serious in nature, is classified as “other-than-serious.”
When you receive an OSHA Notice, you must post it (or a copy of it) at or near the place where each violation occurred to make employees aware of the hazards to which they may be exposed. The OSHA Notice must remain posted for 3 working days or until the hazard is abated, whichever is longer. (Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays are not counted as working days).
As an employer who has been cited, you may:
Correct the condition by the date set in the OSHA Notice and/or,
Request an Informal Conference within 15 working days from the time you received the OSHA Notice with the OSHA Area Director to discuss the violations and/or the abatement dates.
How to Comply
For violations cited in the OSHA Notice, you must promptly notify the OSHA Area Director by letter that you have taken the appropriate corrective action within the time set forth in the OSHA Notice. The notification you send the Area Director is generally referred to as a LETTER OF CORRECTIVE ACTION. It must explain the specific action taken with regard to the violation and state the date each corrective action was taken.
If you have abatement questions after the inspection, they should be discussed with the Area Director in the informal conference.
When the OSHA Notice permits an extended period of time for abatement, you must insure that employees are adequately protected during this time. If this is the case, you must provide OSHA with a periodic progress report on your actions taken in the interim.
You may request an informal conference with the OSHA Area Director to discuss the violations. You may use this opportunity to do any of the following:
Obtain a better explanation for the violations cited.
Obtain a more complete understanding of the specific standards that apply.
Discuss ways to correct violations.
Discuss problems concerning the abatement dates.
Discuss problems concerning employee safety practices.
Resolve disputed violations.
Obtain answers to any other questions you may have.
You are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to have an informal conference if you foresee any difficulties in complying with any part of the OSHA Notice. Employee representatives have the right to participate in any informal conference or negotiations between the Area Director or Regional Administrator and the employer.
If you agree that the violations do exist, but you have a valid reason for wishing to extend the abatement date(s), you may discuss this with the Area Director during the informal conference. The Area Director may issue an amended OSHA Notice that changes the abatement date prior to the expiration of the 15 working day period.
Every effort will be made to resolve the issues at an informal conference. If, however, an issue is not resolved by the Area Director, a summary of the discussion together with the agency’s position on the unresolved issues shall be forwarded to the Federal Agency Program Officer (FAPO) within 5 working days of the informal conference.
The FAPO/Regional Administrator will confer with the appropriate Regional agency official before making a decision on the unresolved issues.
If the FAPO/Regional Administrator, in consultation with the Area Director, decides that the item in question should remain unchanged on the OSHA Notice, the appropriate agency officials shall be advised.
If there is still an unresolved issue after the Regional review, the agency may send a letter of appeal to OSHA’s Office of Federal Agency Programs (OFAP).
OFAP will review the disputed issues and discuss these with top agency officials, as appropriate, to obtain resolution. The decision at the National Office level, in consultation with the Regional Administrator, FAPO, and Area Director, is final.
Under the OSHA Act, Executive Order 12196 and 29 CFR Part 1960, Federal agencies do not have the right to contest the OSHA Notice.
Petition for Modification of Abatement (PMA)
Abatement dates are assigned on the basis of the best information available at the time the OSHA Notice is issued. When you are unable to meet an abatement date because of uncontrollable events or other circumstances, you may file a Petition for Modification of Abatement (PMA) with the OSHA Area Director.
The petition must be in writing and must be submitted no later than one working day after the abatement date. To show clearly that you have made a good-faith effort to comply, the PMA must include all of the following information before it can be considered:
Steps you have taken in an effort to achieve compliance and dates they were taken;
Additional time you need to comply;
Why you need the additional time;
Interim steps you are taking to safeguard your employees against the cited hazard(s) until the abatement; and
A certification that the petition has been posted, the date of posting and, when appropriate, a statement that the petition has been furnished to an authorized representative of the affected employees. The petition must remain posted for 10 working days, during which employees may file an objection.
A PMA may be granted or objected to by the OSHA Area Director. If a PMA is granted, a monitoring inspection may be conducted to ensure that conditions are as they have been described and that adequate progress toward abatement has been made.
When agreement to extend the abatement date cannot be reached at the Area Office, the agency may bring unresolved issues to the Regional Administrator/FAPO for resolution with his counterpart in the agency. Issues not resolved at the regional level shall be forwarded to the Director, OFAP, for resolution with agency headquarters in consultation with the Regional Administrator, the FAPO, and the Area Director.
Further information on PMAs may be obtained from any OSHA Area/District office.
Agency heads may apply for approval of an alternate standard where deemed necessary and, after consulting with employees or their representatives, including appropriate safety and health committees, notify the Secretary of Labor and request approval of such standards. The Secretary will not approve alternate standards unless it provides affected employees equivalent or greater protection.
The agency head must provide the Secretary with the following:
A statement of why the agency cannot comply with the OSHA standard or wants to adopt an alternate standard;
A description of the alternate standard;
An explanation of how the alternate standard provides equivalent or greater protection for the affected employees;
A description of interim protective measures afforded employees until a decision is rendered by the Secretary of Labor; and
A summary of written comments, if any, from interested employees, employee representatives, and occupational safety and health committees.
Employees and other interested groups are encouraged to participate in the alternate standard process.
Employee Courses of Action
Employees or their authorized representatives may object to any or all of the abatement dates set for violations if they believe them to be unreasonable. A written notice of their objections must be filed with the OSHA Area Director within 15 working days after the employer receives the OSHA Notice.
The filing of an employee objection does not suspend the employer’s obligation to abate the hazard(s).
Employees also have the right to object to a PMA. Such objections must be in writing and must be sent to the Area Office within 10 days of service or posting.
Follow-up Inspection and Failure to Abate
If you receive a Notice of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions, a followup inspection may be conducted to verify that you have done the following:
Posted the OSHA Notice as required,
Corrected the violations as required in the OSHA Notice, and/or
Adequately protected employees and made appropriate progress in correcting the hazards during multi-step or lengthy abatement periods.
Any new violations discovered during a followup inspection will be cited, as well as any hazards which have not been abated by the abatement date so specified on the OSHA Notice. The latter violations will be cited in the form of a Failure to Abate Notice.
Executive Order 12196 and 29 CFR Part 1960.46 prohibit Federal agencies from discharging or otherwise discriminating against an employee who has exercised any right under these laws, including the right to make safety and health complaints or to request an OSHA inspection. In addition, Federal employees may have protection for such activity under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989.
Complaints from employees who believe they have been discriminated against will be investigated by the Office of Special Counsel except in those agencies not covered by the Whistleblower Act. Agencies exempted from the Whistleblower Act are:
A government corporation, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority;
the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, or certain other intelligence agencies excluded by the President;
the General Accounting Office;
the U.S. Postal Service or Postal Rate Commission;
the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and,
If the Federal employee’s agency is exempted from the Whistleblower Act, the alleged reprisal is forwarded to the agency’s Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO).
There is no time limit for filing a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel. To obtain further information on this matter, employees may contact OSHA and/or the Office of Special Counsel.
Providing False Information
All information reported to OSHA by employers and employees must be accurate and truthful.
For further information and assistance, please contact your OSHA Area Director.
A single free copy of the following materials can be obtained from the OSHA Publications Office, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room N3101, Washington, D.C. 20210, (202) 219-4667
Chemical Hazard Communication (OSHA 3084)
How to Prepare For Workplace Emergencies (OSHA 3088)
Job Hazard Analysis (OSHA 3071)
29 CFR Part 1960, Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters
Recordkeeping and Reporting Guidelines for Federal Agencies (OSHA 2014) can be obtained from OSHA, Office of Federal Agency Programs, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room N3112, Washington, D.C. 20210, (202) 219-9329.