What you need to know: Legionella and Your HVAC System
Most of us don’t really consider the indoor heating or cooling system as dangerous. The systems are there to cool or heat the building up and that’s it. Proper maintenance ensures that you can enjoy the heat during winter and cooling during summer. But did you know that your building ventilation systems could make you sick?
If you’re involved in any aspect of a building’s HVAC system, then you need to know about the bacterium known as Legionella.
• Legionella is a bacterium which causes Legionellosis (also known as Legionnaires’ disease). If you don’t know, Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia which is characterized by chills, a high fever, coughing, aches, and other terrible symptoms you don’t want to experience.
The bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease is commonly found in cooling towers or commercial-size heating and air systems.
• It thrives in warm, stagnant water. When people inhale the mist or vapor contaminated by the warm air, pushed through the building via the HVAC system, it easily spreads and causes sickness.
Preventive Maintenance is Your First Line of Defense Against Legionella.
• The bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease thrives in stagnant water that has been allowed to grow warm – the ideal temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, its main point of contact in commercial buildings is cooling towers within large, centralized cooling systems. The main way to protect your building’s occupants from Legionnaires’ disease is by keeping up with your HVAC system’s preventative maintenance.
• Scheduling routine, preventative maintenance for your commercial air conditioning systems not only saves you money and extends the life of the system, but it will also save lives. 1 in every 10 cases of Legionnaires’ disease is fatal.
Early Detection Equals Early Remediation.
One of the primary goals of early detection is to allow existing and effective techniques to be implemented as quickly as possible to destroy Legionella bacteria. With airborne Legionella and cooling towers making news headlines, call the HVAC professionals at James River Air Conditioning to discuss testing and treatment options that can identify and handle the problem.