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Mechanical or Hygiene: What is the Best Path to Clean Air? March 4, 2020

Inside of Air Supply Ducting
The inside of a supply air duct, as seen from an inspection hatch.

We all know that the air inside our factory must be clean.   If it isn’t, our plant will cease to be.  

One thing is for sure, if a ventilation system is not mechanically sound, (fan belt gone, thermostat malfunction, or refrigerant leak) the red flags are up pretty fast and action will be taken.

Great.

But realistically, the hygiene of the system is just as important. 

We need clean air, not just supply air.
Bacterial control is as important as temperature control.
Foreign matter in our air stream is as serious as foreign matter in a fan bearing.

If you’re relying on clean air in a food production facility, then you’re going to want to make sure your ventilation system is bacteria-free just as as you want it break-down free. Right?

However, we still find so much dirt. 

So many dirty duct interiors.
So many dirty fans.
So many dirty heat exchanger coils.
So many dirty air diffuser grilles.
So many filter and fan rooms with dirty ceilings and walls or flaking paint.

No matter how mechanically sound your ventilation system is, you should not be running it in your food production facility, unless it is fully hygienic.  

 

So, who looks after this air hygiene then?

Just as you don’t bring in an electrician to install a new hand basin, ventilation system hygiene is not the core focus of maintenance or refrigeration contractors.

 

It is not to say they cannot or will not help with this.  It just isn’t the thing that gets them up and going in the morning!

 

Air hygiene requires different equipment, different skill sets, different mindsets and an eye for different detail.

 

What should we do now?

Look for an experienced industrial cleaning contractor who focuses on ventilation systems or Indoor Air Quality and has a documented program to keep your system hygienic. They’re out there, trust me!

 

 

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