As the health care industry changes, so too do the HVAC requirements for the facilities housing the thousands of health centers across the country. With several major overhauls in the patient care process in recent years, the relationship between hospitals and patients is ever-changing, and as a result, HVAC performance must be further optimized to align with these new changes.
Without necessary upgrades, HVAC systems may actually contribute to declining indoor air quality, and in turn, affect those who are most sick and least able to ward off airborne pathogens and microbes. And with the number of health organizations expected to grow in response to population expansion, the size and operation of the buildings themselves will be of even greater importance.
For HVAC contractors, meeting the needs of hospitals could mean updating the manufacturing and design processes of HVAC equipment to better accommodate the environments in which they are installed, according to ACHRNews.
Because a traditional hospital serves various functions and contains a number of different room settings, HVAC manufacturers must be able to maximize the efficiency of their units to operate in these facilities. HPAC Engineering noted HVAC systems must handle the conditions present in intensive care units, operating rooms, public waiting areas, sterilized rooms and a host of other settings.
Essentially, HVAC units must be designed to have cross-functional purposes as well as more narrow, customized uses, depending on the location. This is true across the entire health care industry, meaning HVAC solutions should be co-opted into health management goals and business plans to ensure quality and efficiency in all aspects of providing patient care.
Why coils matter
It’s not enough to simply install a new HVAC unit and keep it properly maintained. Rather, building managers will be dealing with a massive, multimillion dollar system that needs to be monitored in real time and improved on a regular basis to remove even the slightest inefficiency. Through the use of analytics and data tracking, this goal is more achievable, but hardly an easy one.
For instance, a small break in an HVAC evaporator coil in one wing of the facility may cause problems elsewhere as well. Searching for and locating the exact source of the break is both costly and time-consuming, which makes it crucial that the most up-to-date and advanced equipment is used.
When a coil is damaged, the daily functions of the HVAC system suffer, making the unit work harder and use more electricity to continue operating. But this doesn’t just increase utility and maintenance costs, as a damaged coil can also help promote poor air quality resulting from corrosion, mold, mildew and bacterial buildup.
If these particles are allowed to pass through the HVAC system and into rooms of a hospital, medical procedures may be negatively impacted because of contamination. When inhaled, patients can be stricken with respiratory problems and the spread of disease may occur more quickly.
Combating these effects is key to improving health and operational efficiency.
Installing coated coils
While there are a number of other issues that can cause an HVAC system to malfunction, coils are a particular area of concern because they serve as the main facilitators of ventilation, heating and cooling. If HVAC coils perform poorly, the consequences can be severe, which is why building managers should be especially mindful of upgrading coils for greater efficiency.
When new coils are installed, they need to be protected from elements that can damage the copper and aluminum fins. By applying a layer of superhydrophobic coating to the coils, they will last longer and be much more capable of withstanding corrosion.
Because of this, coils are less prone to malfunctioning and don’t allow water to collect. The coating effectively sheds water that would have otherwise pooled and created the conditions for mold to form.
HVAC coil performance will immediately improve and enhance the quality of air coming through the system, resulting in cleaner environments for patients and energy savings for health care facilities. With more than 30 years of design, engineering and manufacturing expertise, Rahn Industries can provide coated coils quickly to meet your HVAC health care facilities needs.
Rahn has a full lineup of spray and immersion (dip)/ Bake protective coatings to meet your needs.