As facilities like schools, hotels and long-term care organizations prepare for the fall, an important and sometimes overlooked aspect for maintaining a clean environment is heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) deep cleaning.
In addition to heating and cooling a facility, HVAC systems contribute to regulating acceptable indoor air quality (IAQ). After being stuck inside during the colder months, germs and other particles such as dirt and dust can spread throughout buildings and accumulate.
It’s important for building managers to schedule a professional coil cleaning. Without proper cleaning, germs, dust, dirt, bacteria and more can be ventilated throughout a facility. Professional coil cleaning service providers use specialized equipment and chemicals to help kill bacteria, mold and mildew within HVAC units resulting in improved IAQ.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
Low IAQ and poor ventilation can result in immediate health effects, including eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. While most of the effects of low IAQ are short-term and treatable, other long-term effects, which include respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer, can be debilitating or possibly fatal.
Research suggests that poor IAQ can negatively affect student performance in educational buildings, triggering issues like asthma and allergies. But low IAQ doesn’t always present physical health issues. A separate study also indicates that poor IAQ in buildings decreases productivity and causes visitors to express dissatisfaction. Clean air supports the health of building occupants and helps employees perform their best.
Maintenance and energy bills for large commercial buildings tend to be a high cost for businesses. A commercial building uses most of its energy through lighting and its HVAC system. HVAC units that aren’t regularly serviced work harder and use more energy resulting in higher power bills. When thoroughly and consistently cleaned, units can transfer air more quickly and efficiently. The cleaning removes the dust and other particles that would otherwise restrict airflow, reducing the amount of energy consumed.
Neglecting care can also lead HVAC equipment to overwork itself, resulting in a premature demise. Deep cleaning equipment helps maximize life expectancy of equipment and reduces long-term costs.
What Else Can Help?
Coil cleaning is one of many steps a business can take to keep its facility in top shape for warmer months and beyond. Additional considerations to help ensure a clean facility include:
- Maintaining Carpets: Carpeted surfaces act as a reservoir trapping dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores, pesticides and other materials which may originate indoors or be brought in from outside. To maintain carpeting, hire a Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)-certified provider that uses truck mounted and portable units, which rely on heat, pressure and extraction to remove particulate soil embedded in the carpet.
- Install Protective Mats: Mats act as the first line of defense in facilities, capturing dirt, water and other debris before it enters the facility. Capture dirt and debris by implementing a matting program. Use rubber scraper mats at the entrance of the building combined with indoor traffic mats to reduce contaminants tracked onto the floor.
- Restore the Floors: Daily maintenance helps extend the life of flooring, but without a long-term maintenance strategy that includes deep cleaning, floors wear easily. With an average of 421,000 different bacteria found on shoes along with harmful debris like asphalt, pebbles and dirt that can cause damage to floors, deep cleaning becomes a necessary part of long-term maintenance. Deep cleaning requires chemicals, equipment and training to break down the build-up and extract all contaminants from grout lines, tiles and other types of flooring. Having an improperly trained staff member clean floors or using the wrong product can be very costly. Improving the cleanliness of the facility by deep cleaning not only extends the life of the floors, but also improves IAQ and enhances a company’s image.
- Check the Restroom: A well-stocked and clean restroom plays a key role in maintaining facility cleanliness. Facility managers should use cleaners that won’t leave streaks or film on glass, mirrors or other fixtures. Use cleaners that are tough on grime and soap film, but non-corrosive to surfaces such as ceramic, porcelain and stainless steel. Employees should focus on disinfecting key surfaces such as toilets, faucets, door handles and floors along with forgotten areas such as light switches and partitions.
Proper facility maintenance can lead to improved IAQ, enhanced building cleanliness, reduced energy costs and increased asset life expectancy. Consider implementing a HVAC coil cleaning program and other key facility maintenance procedures to improve your business’s image, and its bottom line.
John Engel is Director of Marketing for Cintas’ Facility Services division. He has more than 11 years of industry experience and is responsible for Cintas’ Facility Services product line management and development. For more information about Cintas’ clean offerings for facilities, visit cintas.com/facilityservices.