If you own a commercial space or are managing one, it is quite likely that you are familiar with how unpleasant odors can drive customers and potential clients away. According to psychologists who study the effects of different smells, people quickly become conditioned to odors.
Hence, people working in commercial setups with unpleasant odors will stop noticing it but when a client or customer walks in, they will definitely notice the unpleasant smell in the air.
The main question that arises here is what is causing the smell? In most cases, musty and moldy smells come from the HVAC system. The ducts connected to the system are responsible for regulating the airflow in the building and all the rooms are connected to each other via these ducts.
Hence, if there is debris, mold or mildew build up in the HVAC system, the bacteria, fungi spores and unpleasant odors travel through the duct to every room.
How Can You Tell If The Odor Is Coming From Your HVAC System?
Unfortunately, odor problems are difficult to solve. They could be caused by a dead mouse in the HVAC room or mold or mildew development in the HVAC system.
If you are dealing with musty and unpleasant odors in your building, there is a high chance you have already tried all the obvious remedies including deep cleaning the area. However, if the issue is still present after doing these things, the culprit is most likely your HVAC system.
If your HVAC equipment has not been properly maintained for over six months, it can harbor moisture causing the build up of mold leading to unpleasant odors. In addition to this a poorly designed HVAC airflow can push air in the wrong direction, spreading nasty odors to areas from the janitor room and toilets.
In either case, you will have to consult with an HVAC maintenance professional to help you identify and rectify the issue.
An HVAC System Is Much More Than A Cooling And Heating System
HVAC systems are designed to move air through buildings. They are a combination of different air removing and air pushing systems including exhaust fans, clothes dryers, built-in vacuum systems, dust collection systems, range hoods, ventilation systems, air conditioners and heating systems.
Hence, when an HVAC system is designed for a commercial building, extra care has to be taken. When there is more air removed from an area than air supplied, negative pressure causes air to be drawn in from outside the room, resulting in negative air flow. Similarly, when more air is pushed into your space than removed by exhaust, positive air flow is created.
All this has to be kept in mind while laying out the ventilation system. Air moves odors, and other particles with it, hence poorly laid systems can result in a musty and unpleasant odor in an area.
If you feel like the HVAC system of your building has not been designed properly or air flow is not being properly regulated, you can easily get it fixed by an HVAC professional.
Precautions That You Can Take
As mentioned, ill-maintained HVAC systems can develop serious issues that not only will cost you money in the long run but can also be a health hazard for people working in the building.
Inhaling and ingesting fungi spores and mold residue can lead to various lung and gastric diseases. Hence, it is imperative that you take some precautions to ensure the safety of your HVAC system and the people in the building.
Some of the precautions that you can take include:
- Getting the ventilation system cleaned every six months.
- Hire professionals to maintain your HVAC system every three months.
- If your HVAC system is 10-15 years old, get it replaced.
Moreover, it is advised that you hire experienced HVAC professionals for maintenance purposes.