Each commercial building requires a unique HVAC plan tailored to the layout-specific needs and code requirements. When planning a medical building or space like that of a hospital or an Urgent Care, HVAC goes beyond temperature control and comfort.
The HVAC system plays a crucial role in:
Professionals at Lloyd Industries can help provide the expertise and education to ensure that urgent cares and other medical facilities are properly fitted with HVAC systems and fire dampers to cover all building health and safety code requirements.
Fire Dampers for Fire Safety in an Urgent Care
Fire safety is essential for every building, but certain considerations must be accounted for when planning the HVAC for an urgent care space. Comfort is important, but safety is the top priority. While typically not as large and with fewer patients that are unable to care for themselves than hospitals, patient evacuation is still a large factor.
Fire dampers are a means of passively controlling the spread of fires and protecting staff and patients in the event of a disaster. A fire damper is installed by an HVAC contractor and fits into the HVAC air ducts. Lloyd Industries offers various passive fire safety measures, including:
- static fire dampers
- dynamic fire dampers
Lloyd Industries experts can help determine whether a static or dynamic fire damper is appropriate for each building. With static equipment, a fire system senses a fire and turns off the HVAC’s automatic fan, stopping airflow and the heat will close the damper. With dynamic equipment, the damper is rated to close while the fans continue to run. Both options seal off airflow, which significantly reduces the spread and damage from both smoke and flame.
Slowing the spread of a fire is crucial because it allows more time for evacuation. It can also contain the fire to a smaller area, meaning less structural damage when the fire is extinguished.
Airflow and Air Quality in an Urgent Care
The consideration of the quality and purity of the airflow indoors is specifically unique to medical facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of considering airflow and air quality as a means to limit and prevent the spread of life-threatening diseases.
Research shows that dry air can exacerbate the spread of diseases. A simple solution to such a problem involves keeping indoor air humidity between forty and sixty percent. This humidity makes disease-causing viruses significantly less infectious. Research also shows that the path of airflow both in and out of any given room is essential to controlling the spread of germs.
Several factors can increase a viruses’ chances of spreading through the air, such as:
- broken or malfunctioning ventilation systems
- contaminated air filters
- air filter frames
- backflow of contaminated air
- air exhaust contamination
- open windows
- construction in the building
- hospital vacuum cleaners
Negative air pressure can help control the spread of air-borne diseases, which can spread through the air and travel throughout a building via the ducts. Negative air pressure helps pull fresh air from outside of a room and exhaust the potentially disease-ridden internal air directly outdoors. This airflow pattern is designed to eliminate virus particles instead of allowing them to be circulated through the air vents to the rest of the building.
Louvers are one piece of HVAC equipment that help create airflow and protect from outdoor weather conditions. Louvers from Lloyd Industries also aid in fire protection as they increase the ventilation in a building and reduce gas or smoke build-up. There are many other products that can help improve the air quality in a medical facility as well.
Airflow and Ventilation in an Urgent Care
Air control dampers are another type of HVAC equipment that are critical to an urgent care facility’s comfort and safety. Air control dampers cut off airflow and heating and cooling to rooms within a building.
In medical facilities, there are often pieces of medical equipment or materials that need careful temperature control. There is also an increased need to prevent the growth and spread of mold and dust.
Lloyd Industries air control dampers are available in automatic and manual styles. As the name indicates, manual air control dampers feature a lever that is manually manipulated by a person to open and close the vent and thus open or close off airflow. Automatic air control dampers are controlled by an automated system such as a thermostat. A Lloyd Industries professional can help determine which option best suits your individual facility.
HVAC and Temperature Control in an Urgent Care
Less related to the safety of a medical building, but often equally as carefully considered, is temperature control. In hospitals specifically, patients and staff may require individualized temperature control options for their rooms as certain conditions and illnesses may not allow for dressing with layers and blankets. Installing Lloyd Industries HVAC controls for each patient room can ensure individuals and caregivers are able to increase or stop the airflow to their room, thus controlling the temperature and improving the patient’s comfort level and safety.
Lloyd Industries Products and Services
In a medical facility such as an urgent care office, specific situations and conditions must be accounted for when planning an HVAC system for the building. Airflow control can truly be the difference between life and death, from fire safety with dampers to controlling infectious disease spread with strategic flow patterns. Fire dampers and the like are an easy way to add peace of mind and improve safety measures.
Lloyd Industries is a leader in the HVAC equipment industry with over 35 years of business experience and offers a variety of fire dampers, airflow control products, and other HVAC equipment.