Industrial ventilation systems bring in fresh air to replace contaminated indoor air and are critical for keeping workers safe and comfortable. They remove contaminants and fumes, control humidity levels, maintain appropriate temperatures, reduce dust, and keep the work area clean of flammable materials. They also help to extend the life of equipment by keeping it free from dirt and grime that could contaminate machinery.
Air quality issues at a facility can be caused by any number improve air quality with industrial ventilation systems of factors, from dust to chemical vapors, fuel emissions from gas-powered equipment, and many other sources. Proper industrial ventilation systems are designed to handle these pollutants in different ways, depending on the type of work being done at the facility and the rate at which those contaminants are released into the environment. For example, facilities with low-toxicity contaminants and a minor degree of pollution may rely on dilution ventilation, in which contaminated air is mixed with large amounts of clean outdoor air to reduce the proportion of contaminants in the atmosphere. Facilities that deal with more toxic chemicals and materials may need to rely on local exhaust ventilation, in which fume hoods are used to capture the contaminants directly at their source.
Regardless of the type of ventilation system, most of them follow the same basic principles. They all consist of an air supply and exhaust system with ducts to carry contaminated indoor air from one part of the workspace to another, heating or cooling equipment, fans, a filtering device, and an air distribution register.
The airflow rate and distribution of contaminants through the ducts are also important considerations, as they affect how effectively the system performs. Air that moves through ducts too slowly will allow contaminants to settle and build up, while air that moves too quickly wastes energy, creates noise problems, and can lead to excessive abrasion of the interior lining by dust particles. Recommended speeds for various types of contaminants can be found in reference books on ventilation.
A few additional components can be used in some ventilation systems to improve air quality and efficiency, such as demand-based controls that circulate more clean outdoor air when people are in the space, and automatic air disinfection using ultraviolet light. The latter is more effective for high-risk environments like hospitals and school cafeterias, and works by shining UV light across the ceiling that inactivates viruses that are circulating in the air.
Improving air quality with industrial ventilation systems can have a variety of benefits, including improved health and safety for employees, reduced equipment failure, and compliance with regulations. In addition, a well-maintained ventilation system can help to lower energy costs by increasing efficiency and by making use of available natural resources. As such, it’s essential for any business to regularly assess their ventilation system to make sure it is operating at optimal levels.