Cool Breezes With No Sneezes: Choosing The Best Air Conditioner To Prevent Allergy Problems In Your Workforce

Posted on: 15 December 2017

There are many factors to consider when choosing an air conditioner for your business premises, whether you operate a modest office space or an inner-city business hub stretched across several floors. Cooling capacity, energy efficiency, installation costs and other variables all have to be considered when choosing your system, but one commonly overlooked factor is how your new air conditioning system will affect people who suffer from airborne allergies.

Installing any kind of air condition in your commercial space can be a boon for allergy sufferers among your workforce, as the constant ventilation and air circulation they provide can dramatically reduce the amount of allergenic particles present in the air in your premises. However, to ensure maximum protection against reactions to pollen, mould spores, and other irritating airborne particles, you should opt for an air conditioning system with the following attributes:

Built-in humidity controls

It may not seem like a logical conclusion, but the amount of humidity in the air inside your commercial building can significantly affect the likelihood of allergic reactions dogging your employees. This is because humid air contains a high proportion of water vapour; the tiny 'bubbles' of water present in water vapour may not be large enough to stay rooted to the ground, but they are large enough to envelop the average particle of pollen or dust, neutralising their allergenic properties.

Most large-scale air conditioning systems have some variety of automatic humidity control built into their systems, but these can be overwhelmed by particularly dry conditions (particularly during summer) and leave your air dry and laden with floating allergens. If you wish to control the instances of allergies among your workforce, consider choosing an air conditioner with a built-in humidifier system and adjustable humidity controls, which will allow you to fine-tune indoor humidity to levels that benefit easy breathing without becoming uncomfortable.

Easy cleaning

The ducts, vents and pipes that carry cool air from your air conditioner's ccondenser to where it is needed also carry the dust and detritus that gets picked up by the air conditioner. If not cleaned regularly and thoroughly, these spaces can collect deposits of dirt, dust and debris that are constantly released into the air stream, posing an ever-present danger to allergy sufferers.

Consequently, you should choose an air conditioning system that can be cleaned easily to prevent deposits of allergenic dust from forming. Full-blown ducted central air systems are best for this, as their air ducts are wide and relatively easy to access. Split systems may also be a good (and less expensive) option, as the air lines that run through walls and window can be exposed relatively easily and cleaned with standard duct-cleaning tools.

Suitable filters

Every air conditioning system comes with an integrated filter system, but depending on your choice of air conditioner these filters may be somewhat rudimentary. The inexpensive fibreglass filters found in low-end commercial air conditioners are effective up to a point, but do not have the required density to catch allergenic particles such as pollen and dust mites, which are often microscopic in size.

You may also be tempted by more modern options that do away with physical filters altogether, such as filter systems that use electrostatic charge or UV lights to purify the air that passes through your system. However, these systems are geared more towards killing bacteria, fungi and other pathogens rather than removing physical matter from your air stream, and may be helpless to prevent solid allergenic material from infesting your workplace.

To categorically defeat problems with airborne allergens, you will need to opt for an air conditioning system featuring high-energy particle arrestance (HEPA) filters. HEPA filters are crafted from incredibly dense mats of randomly woven fibres, and are capable of catching microscopic particles that would slip through most physical and electronic filters alike. HEPA filters can often be retrofitted to low-end systems, so you need not necessarily break the bank to explore this option.

For more information and assistance, contact a local commercial air conditioning service.


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