Sick days cost UK businesses up to £4.53 billion every year with one quarter of all sick days credited to the common cold. Albion Valves (UK) Ltd, a leading UK valve supplier to the building services and air conditioning industry is urging businesses to get their housekeeping in place to help support a healthy workforce.
In the workplace, air-conditioning units are often blamed for the spread of colds, flus, irritation of the ears, nose and throat, headaches, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. This phenomenon has become known as ‘sick building syndrome’ – widely understood to be caused by the temperature of air conditioning being maintained at uncomfortably low temperatures.
For HVAC engineers working in office environments and other public buildings the objective of installing an AC system is to deliver fresh, clean air into the building at the right temperature and the right speed to ultimately enhance the comfort and general wellbeing of the workforce – this means avoiding drafts, cold spots and hot spots created by a system overcooling or overheating.
An efficient system will ensure correct regulation of air movement at each terminal unit (Fan Coil Unit) on the coil waterside to make certain the air delivery is at the correct temperature.
For specifiers within the HVAC industry, Pressure Independent Control Valves (PICV) are the obvious choice of component as they offer optimum control and balance and give the system the flexibility to turn the pump down. This ensures less wasted energy, enhanced operational performance and the correct delivery of water to the LTHW or CHW coil to maintain the temperature set point.
Correct system balance, in combination with optimal fan-drive speed control, means air movement can be reduced but still achieve the objectives of creating a system that is quiet and effortlessly energy efficient – for the majority of partial load conditions, and still be able to handle the demands of occasional peak loads.
Albion Valves, Technical Specifications Manager, Paul Wightman commented:
“It is important for building services engineers to establish a regular maintenance regime to help avoid excess moisture gathering around the unit itself, which can harbor bacteria and fungi. This includes regular checks on the condition and cleanliness of filters especially around intakes and outlets.”
The most common complaint about air conditioning is that it dries out the air, irritating the eyes and sinuses. It is true that cooling has a drying effect, so it is important to check the humidity in your office if you’re experiencing problems. A well-designed air conditioning and ventilation system should maintain appropriate humidity levels.
When units are clean and well maintained, air conditioning has a positive effect on your health, especially in cities and heavily populated areas by increasing comfort levels and filtering out pollutants and dust.”
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