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Australian Standards, HVAC Cleaning & COVID-19 Spread
The responsibilities of a Building Manager or Facility Manager are many and varied. It’s a difficult job, and the emergence of COVID-19 has made it harder.
Some argue that a never-before-seen virus that causes a global pandemic is impossible to plan for & control. These people argue that the COVID-19 virus is a moving target and that a relevant Australian Standard does not exist to control the spread. Therefore, it stands to reason that if something does go wrong, the Building Manager will be granted a ‘get out of jail free card’.
However, Clean Air Filtration urges CAUTION on this matter.
To be precise, we argue that the existing AS/NZS 3666.2:2011 standard outlines a set of minimum requirements that are directly linked to the spread of COVID-19.
Now more than ever, it is essential to:
- understand your responsibilities,
- implement your associated HVAC cleaning plan which includes periodic inspections and cleans.
Clean Air Filtration urges all building managers to ensure that they are following this standard to the ‘letter of the law’ or risk being held responsible for a COVID-19 outbreak. As we now know, the COVID-19 virus can wreak health and financial damage on individuals and companies.
This blog post will outline your responsibilities in detail. In addition, we’ll highlight how the existing Australian Standard relates to the spread of COVID-19.
We’ll also show you how with one mouse click or phone call, you can absolve yourself of this extremely important compliance burden.
Details Of HVAC Cleaning and Australian Standard 3666.2:2011
Objective Of Standard:
“The objective of this Standard is to assist users in the control of microorganisms in building systems…”
Your HVAC Cleaning Responsibilities:
AS/NZS 3666.2:2011 outlines a number of HVAC cleaning tasks that need to be performed together with the minimum time period between the task being performed. The following table is an indicative list of these tasks. Please consult the official standard for the latest details:
|HVAC COMPONENT||INSPECT||CLEANED / REPLACED|
|Outdoor air intakes and exhausts||Monthly||When Necessary|
|Air filters||Monthly||When Necessary|
|Evaporative air-cooling equipment||3 Months||When Necessary|
|Sump||3 Months||When Necessary|
|Wetted pads||3 Months||When Necessary|
|Water strainer||3 Months||When Necessary|
|Air filter||3 Months||When Necessary|
|Drainage system||3 Months||When Necessary|
|Ducts and components|
|Trays and sumps||Monthly||When Necessary|
|Condensate drains, tundishes, and traps||Monthly||When Necessary|
|Fans||3 Months||When Necessary|
|Terminal units inc. coils||Annually||When Necessary|
|Terminal units components including coils||Annually||When Necessary|
|Return air and relief air grilles||Annually||When Necessary|
The Link Between COVID-19 Spread & the AS/NZS 3666.2:2011 Standard (& why you should care)
Rooms within a building will often have a semi-independant HVAC ventilation system with both an air supply and an air exhaust.
If more air is removed through the exhaust than what is supplied through the supply, the room will have negative air pressure. In this case, adjacent rooms & corridors will often have different air pressures. If a door between the two spaces is opened, air will flow between them. The difference in air pressure between rooms can be by design, or can exist by accident. Room air pressure can also change over time and can depend on the cleanliness of air ducts.
This is a very big deal in a Quarantine Hotel as airflow from a room to the corridor of the hotel can cause COVID-19 spread.
The Victorian government in Australia are currently conducting ventilation audits on all their quarantine hotels to ensure the predictable airflow between rooms.
However, even if the hotel room was designed for airflow from the corridor to the room, this can be periodically reversed if the supply or exhaust air ducts are not clean.
This is a bomb waiting to explode and has legal consequences. The consequences for a Facility Manager that has not complied with the Australian Standard is now off the charts. A duct that has not been properly cleaned as per the standard, can directly cause a COVID-19 outbreak.
A COVID-19 positive person can spread the virus to everyone in the whole building. In this case, if the building is non compliant, all actions taken by the Facility Manager will be under scrutiny.
However, this is not just a problem for Quarantine Hotels. Air flow in all commercial buildings including office buildings, hospitals, and aged care homes need to need to flow freely and can’t be restricted by non-compliant air ducts.
Here’s The Plan
If you’re a Building Manager or Facility Manager in Melbourne Australia then you’re in luck.
Clean Air Filtration Services are located in Campbellfield Melbourne. We service the whole of Victoria including ALL suburbs of Melbourne.
Our “HVAC & DUCT CLEANING COMPLIANCE PROGRAM” is a one stop shop for all your HVAC cleaning requirements. Melbourne’s biggest companies have been delegating their HVAC compliance to us for over 30 years. Or customers include Cabrini Hospital, Visy, and Melbourne University.
We’ve been fine tuning our battle-tested compliance program for decades. It’s a meticulous and comprehensive process that you can trust. It includes:
- Inspection & cleaning as per Australian standard AS/NZS 3666.2,
- Reporting and record keeping which exceed the Australian Standard,
- Duct Video Inspection & Reporting so you can see the state of your duct ventilation system,
- Tracking recommendations for use of new technologies (important in the world of COVID-19),
- Air Quality Audits including bacterial swabs and NATA laboratory testing.
Give us a call on the following number so we can arrange a meeting on site to better understand your requirements: