Indoor air quality (IAQ) isn't something the average person stops to think about.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning technicians' efforts often go unnoticed, despite the impact that consistent maintenance has in a commercial building or laboratory setting. But no news is good news in this field, and service engineers are relying on the testo 440 IAQ and air velocity tool to avoid work environment concerns hitting the spotlight.

The dangers of poor IAQ in a commercial building aren't difficult to spot as they take a physical toll on its inhabitants. There are four categories of side-effects that facility managers and administrators should be aware of, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency:

Acute: Immediate reactions like headaches, coughing or congestion are elicited within 24 hours from exposure to chemicals, bacteria or excessive moisture.

Chronic: Long-term respiratory issues attributed to unchecked threats, such as asbestos.

Performance: Drop in productivity and performance tied to shift in temperature, humidity or lack of ventilation.

General discomfort: Noticeable irritation brought on by changes to consistent settings.

Routine HVAC maintenance can help technicians identify issues with equipment before these threats pose a danger to the workforce.

IAQ risks change drastically in a laboratory setting, despite the fact they may seem miniscule at first. In vitro fertilisation (IVF) facilities, for example, need to exercise exceptional control of this variant if they want to continuously replicate successful results, Vitrolife reported.

Pollutants like carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide can rest on surfaces for extended periods of time and harm embryos they come in contact with.

Any high-functioning lab will utilise a clean room but between the location of the commercial building – cities present more dangers – and the variety of HVAC systems that can be used, threats can slip past. The potential here, though, could significantly damage the reputation of the facility.

Tools like the testo 440 are helping to keep both settings clean and safe. This is done by providing technicians with the instrument they need to accurately identify any changes in key metrics like temperature and relative humidity, K-factor, air flow and pitot tube velocity. The data can then be uploaded to a computer and analysed to spot any concerning trends.

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