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Indoor Air Pollutants and Your Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Pollutants and Your Indoor Air Quality

Pollution Free SignYour commercials building’s indoor air quality is measured by the combined comfort your HVAC system provides in the areas of temperature, humidity, and air cleanliness.  Last time, we discussed the topic of humidity and outlined some facts that can assist business owner’s in achieving the right relative humidity for maximum comfort.  Today, let’s cover the basics regarding indoor air pollutants.

As many have already heard, the air within a structure can often be much more contaminated by pollutants than the that which we breath outdoors. Within a building’s air there are particles, chemicals, and tiny organisms that cause a decrease in overall quality.  One of the most common pollutants found indoors is Radon.

If these factors are bad enough, the health effects one experiences are referred to as Sick Building Syndrome.  You will know if you are experiencing Sick Building Syndrome because your symptoms will only be present in a certain building and will dissipate once you leave.  Symptoms of this type of sickness include eye irritations, nose, irritations, throat irritations, allergic reactions, headaches, various cancers, fatigue, issues with concentration, and sensitivity to odors.

So, how do your improve your indoor air quality?  First, minimize the amount of household chemical you use, don’t allow smoking indoors, and  limit the use of any unvented appliances.  Next, improve your overall ventilation by replacing some of the building’s inside air with fresh air from outside.  Finally, look into air cleaning methods that remove chemicals from the air with activated charcoal.

Thank you for joining us for our discussion on pollutants and indoor air quality.  The team at American Services hopes this information will assist you in creating that most comfortable environment within your commercial building.  For more information concerning heating, cooling, and refrigeration services near Belleville, contact your American Services customer service representative today!

Your HVAC System’s Role In Indoor Air Quality

Your HVAC System’s Role In Indoor Air Quality

maintenance repairman In the HVAC business, the characteristics that describe a comfortable home are defined together as your indoor air quality.  To achieve a maximum comfort level, there are three factors that must be accounted for.  These factors are temperature, humidity level, and cleanliness of the air.  In this two-part series, we will discuss the areas of humidity and indoor pollutants.  Giving details on what each are and how they work to create your most comfortable indoor air quality.

When measuring the amount of water vapor in the air, you will be given a percentage that is called your humidity level.  The percentage given is traditionally expresses as relative humidity and is a comparison of the actual water vapor in the air versus the total amount that the air can hold.  As you may know from experience, warmer air has a higher capacity to hold water when compared to colder air.  This is why the humidity levels are higher in the spring and summer months.

In your commercial building, there are a number of sources of water vapor.  A few of these include activities like cooking and people breathing.  On average, four individuals put out three gallons of water into the air each day, combined.

To keep the humidity levels at a satisfactory state within your building, you’ll need to consider the outdoor air temperature.  This is important for maximum comfort, as well as to prevent condensation from causing damage to wood materials within the structure.  The following chart displays recommended relative humidity levels based upon incremented outdoor air temperatures:

  • 40 F………..45%
  • 30 F………..40%
  • 20 F………..35%
  • 10 F………..30%

It is also important to remember that keeping the humidity levels above 50% can cause microbial growth such as mold.  Always take this into consideration, as mold can have adverse affects on your building and on the people whom inhabit it.  If you have problems with keeping any indoor area below the 50% level, the use of a dehumidifier will be required to obtain proper conditions.

Thank you for joining us for part one of this two part series today!  Next time we will discuss indoor pollutants and how to create an environment without them.  If you have more questions on either of these topics, feel free to contact the St. Peter’s area commercial HVAC service specialists at American Services!

Focus On – Cooling Towers

Focus On – Cooling Towers

St Louis Commercial Cooling ServiceHave you ever wondered what a cooling tower is how it can work for providing air conditioning to your commercial property?  If so, today’s focus on cooling towers is perfect for you!  Let’s get started with a quick overview regarding the actual function of this type of unit.

According to, a cooling tower works like this, “The tower creates a stream of cold water that runs through a heat exchanger, cooling the hot condenser coils. The tower blows air through a stream of water causing some of it to evaporate, and the evaporation cools the water stream.”  It is noted that a disadvantage associated with this type of system is that water has to regularly be added to make up for evaporated liquid loss and that the efficiency of this type of unit relies heavily upon the relative humidity of the air, along with the barometric pressure.  Just a few things to think about!

The team at American Services wants you to completely understand your cooling options.  Please feel free to contact our Florissant area commercial cooling sales department to get all the details regarding the cooling tower-based systems we have to offer.  Our team can additionally help you with a full range of HVACR needs.  Our list of services includes: HVAC services like rooftop packaged units, split systems, boilers and chillers; Refrigeration units like walk-ins and reach-ins; Industrial Equipment like chillers, exhausts, and make-up air; Cooking Equipment like grills, ovens, fryers, and steamers; plus Beverage Equipment like coffee, cappuccino, soda, and frozen beverages. You can count on our team to have the knowledge needed to assist you with your purchase, perform your installation, custom-design a maintenance plan, and perform all needed repairs.  There really is no other HVACR team that can do that in St. Louis!

Maintaining Proper Humidity for Commercial Buildings

Maintaining Proper Humidity for Commercial Buildings

HVAC Contractor in MOKeeping excess moisture out of the air is often necessary for business operations. Running a humidity control system means that a certain amount of routine maintenance needs to occur. The equipment nozzles need to be checked periodically to ensure that they are working properly. Often times, the inserts in high pressure stainless steel nozzles malfunction and need to be replaced. This type of maintenance is far less costly than replacing whole nozzles when they stop spraying water properly.

There are other things that can be done to make your system run more efficiently. An automated humidity control system can be installed, for instance. A single system or multiple automated systems can be chosen, depending on application needs. Such a system would come with sensors that measure relative humidity in the air and react accordingly.

When too much moisture is in the air it often needs to be extracted so that dryer air in the environment results. Humid air can lead to mold and mildew growth inside of buildings.  This mold and mildew can be a health hazard and can be costly to deal with if it is allowed to exist and to grow. Pests often prefer areas with excess humidity as well.  Dehumidifiers simply extract some of the moisture from the air and dispose of it in the form of vapor or in liquid form.

There are various forms of humidifiers and dehumidifiers available. What type of system to get depends on the type of building that they are going to be used in and for what function they are needed for. Professional HVAC suppliers can help to figure out how to accomplish your goals and get the equipment or service that you need. For commercial HVAC near South County American Services can assist.

Water Damage and Commercial HVAC Systems

Water Damage and Commercial HVAC Systems

water damage HVAC repair in MOAmerican Services commercial HVAC service near Ladue knows that commercial HVAC systems are prone to causing water damage if they are not regularly inspected, the preventative maintenance is not kept up, and if problems are overlooked. An inexpensive fix left untouched can lead to major water damage in your building resulting in expensive repairs. Ensure your staff knows what to look for in their office or as they move throughout your building on a daily basis.

Moisture problems can occur in commercial buildings when there is uncontrolled airflow. Typical problems are a result of commercial HVAC systems that have an imbalanced airflow that results in air loss to the outside. Some common causes of this negative pressure situation is insufficient return air supply, improper balance of ventilation and exhaust systems, and supply duct leaks. It is important that relative humidity be monitored in all areas of the building, as this can be an indicator of problems. Proper preventative maintenance measures includes checking the HVAC system balance regularly to ensure appropriate pressures and airflow. Additionally, it is important to check HVAC response to thermostats, humidistats, and other control systems regularly.

In large buildings that utilize cooling towers there is an enormous amount of water that gets moved around. Correct drainage and basic plumbing systems within your commercial HVAC system is imperative and are critical to performance and risk reduction. As a preventative measure to reduce the potential of water damage, fan belts, motors, and other basic system components should be appropriately inspected, lubricated and maintained. All rooftop systems should be checked monthly, especially all water distribution systems and drainage elements.

Commercial Cooling System Upgrade

Commercial Cooling System Upgrade

cooling system repair in MissouriAmerican Services commercial cooling system installation in Overland MO asks; what are cooling and ventilation system upgrades?

To establish increased indoor air quality levels and improve occupant comfort through HVAC cooling system upgrades the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) recommends good ventilation, low noise and low air movement.

Individual temperature/humidity control units hold a maximum level of 45 percent RH (Relative humidity) in the summer and a minimum of 35 percent RH in the winter. Once these parameters can be established, the actual design and planning of the cooling system upgrade project, and selection of specific equipment can then be considered for the implementation and installation phase.

Day to day operational maintenance of an HVAC(heating ventilation and air conditioning) system, and routine scheduled inspections help ensure that all mechanical equipment and operating systems are running efficiently at optimal performance levels.

Occasionally a preventive maintenance checks and service operation will find that the system is either out of date or operating efficiently. Since most HVAC systems account for approximately 40 to 60 percent of the energy used in commercial applications. Because of these energy consumption percentage rates it becomes important to determine when to upgrade your cooling and ventilation system. Upgrading the cooling and ventilation system can net energy savings up to 46 percent relatively quickly, therefore making the determination to upgrade and then making the proper upgrades by using a competent HVAC/ Cooling system installation designer is key to cost savings potential and efficient operations management.

Not only can upgrades help to save money on utility bills, but making improvements to a cooling system and can help increase occupants comfort level and improve indoor environmental quality. Caution, before making any system upgrades, the installation should be thoroughly inspected for any inefficiency in the structure, building envelope and other mechanical equipment.