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The Basics About Legionnaires Disease And HVAC Systems

All residences and homes have indoor heating and cooling systems have space built in for heating and cooling systems. Once the system is in place, everything can be controlled through a central monitor. Most HVAC firms install the systems according to federal and local regulations. However, problems do happen.


Dangers of Poorly-Maintained HVAC Systems

Improperly installed heating and cooling systems do cause problems. For example, on July 13th 2003, doctors were baffled by an outbreak of fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, and headaches. The numbers of patients were so alarming that the CDC was notified. Immediate lab results showed that all patients were suffering from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease. Director of surveillance and investigations for the Virginia Department of Health, Diane Woolard had stated that the sudden rise in the disease was baffling but it could have been due to improperly installed and maintained heating and cooling systems.

This problem can happen in modern day systems as well. HVAC systems use water in the cooling towers and heating systems of large central air-conditioning and heating systems of buildings. The L. Pneumophila bacterium that causes the disease flourishes in wet environments. Improperly maintained and cleaned HVAC systems will cause water stagnation and the bacteria will flourish in the closed environment. The central ventilation system will then carry this bacterium all over the building resulting in multiple infections. As a result, employers do need to be careful about the HVAC systems and installation companies they use.


Modern HVAC Standards

You should know though that most modern HVAC system use state-of-the-art automatic controls that control the entire system. Installers use manual and automatic controls to regulate the temperature, modulate airflow, and ensure proper ventilation. Regular maintenance and calibration is not required but it is a good idea to ensure a patent healthy system. Legally, professionals have to follow ASHRAE 62-1989 standards while designing and installing modern heating and cooling systems. HVAC Systems are also tested according to Standard 52-76 in which the ventilation filters are tested for particulate matter and air filtering efficiency. With these standards, a good HVAC system can filter most particulate matter and ensure better building health.

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