Ventilation is defined as replacing air in an indoor area with fresh air from another area, such as an outdoor source. Proper ventilation is very important in all indoor areas and buildings, especially veterinarian clinics. Read below to find out why your vet clinic needs proper air ventilation!
Improved Indoor Air Quality
Proper ventilation leads to improved indoor air quality and eliminates stale air. The air in a poorly ventilated room often feels “stale” or stuffy to inhabitants. Stale air is when air does not move in a room, which causes the buildup of certain chemicals and humidity. Stale air is made up of byproducts such as small amounts of exhaled carbon dioxide and other microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs).
In a veterinary clinic, these MVOCs can include animal hair, fecal matter, and blood. There can also be other more common airborne pollutants in your veterinary clinic such as dust, dirt, debris, mold, or mildew.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), concentration of air pollutants indoors can be two to five times higher than outdoors. This concentration may be even higher in veterinary clinics, as the aforementioned MVOCs can build up quickly in stale air and linger for long periods of time. Fortunately, proper ventilation keeps the air moving to prevent any air pollution buildup while expelling harmful materials away.
Reduced Risk of Airborne Illness
With improved air quality from proper ventilation comes a reduced risk of illness from airborne bacteria. Certain diseases such as the flu can be spread through the air. Diseases caused by airborne bacteria or viruses can spread rapidly from animal-to-animal or human-to-animal within the confines of a vet clinic. In fact, animal facilities are considered high risk for airborne disease outbreaks.
Fortunately their spread can be limited by proper ventilation. Keeping the air moving will filter out harmful airborne pathogens and decrease the risk of exposure. Proper ventilation not only keeps the animals safe and healthy, but the veterinarians and customers as well.
Reduced Allergy Symptoms
Proper ventilation has also been shown to reduce or eliminate airborne allergens. Cats and dogs provoke two of the most common animal allergies among people, and it is highly probable that some veterinary customers are allergic to an animal that is currently or was recently at the clinic.
Pet allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and headaches can be triggered by direct contact or exposure to airborne particles such as dander. Fortunately, proper ventilation can help decrease the number of airborne allergens and create a comfortable environment for all patrons.
Improves or Eliminates Odor
Ventilation can also help improve or eliminate unpleasant odors associated with veterinary clinics. Between the many animals coming and going, veterinary clinics can harbor unpleasant smells. These smells can linger in still air and create a very unpleasant environment, and they will be even more noticeable in stale air.
Fortunately, ventilation can help improve or remove entirely any unpleasant odors! With proper ventilation, any unpleasant air will be replaced with fresh air from either outdoors or a different indoor area. Proper ventilation goes a long way toward creating a better-smelling and happier environment for all.
Ventilation also helps make your clinic feel more comfortable by impacting the indoor temperature. Proper ventilation has been shown to impact thermal comfort, which is how your body feels regarding the temperature in its environment. You may feel uncomfortable in a poorly ventilated room with stale and humid air. These unpleasant feelings will likely go away with proper ventilation. The animals, patients, and employees will all feel much more comfortable in your properly ventilated veterinary clinic.
How to Properly Ventilate Your Veterinarian Clinic
There are several simple ways to properly ventilate your vet clinic. Whenever possible, open windows and doors. This allows any stale air and harmful airborne pollutants to exit the clinic and be replaced by clean, fresh air. Ceiling fans are also excellent ways to ventilate your clinic. By constantly circulating air throughout the room, they can prevent the buildup of any harmful MVOCs.
Depending on their direction, ceiling fans can also impact the room’s temperature. A fan spinning counterclockwise will create a chilling effect by pushing air down while a fan spinning clockwise draws warm air up and spreads it throughout the room. The HVAC system plays a crucial role toward ventilation in an indoor area. Ductless mini splits are a highly efficient HVAC system that is perfect for ventilating any vet clinic. These HVAC systems feature an outdoor condenser connected to one or more indoor air handling units. They are available in single and multi-zone systems.
A single-zone system features one air conditioner connected to one condenser, while a multi-zone system has multiple air conditioners connected to the same outdoor unit. Each air conditioner in a multi-zone system is controlled independently of each other, which means you can control the ventilation and temperature in one zone without impacting the others. A single-zone system can properly ventilate a smaller vet clinic, while a multi-zone system allows you to properly ventilate larger vet clinics with multiple rooms or levels. By bringing in fresh outdoor air, a ductless mini split system is properly ventilating your vet clinic!
Mini splits are more than just air conditioners; they also serve as air filters, purifiers, and dehumidifiers. During operation, each air handling unit is removing any harmful airborne materials such as dust, dirt, debris, and other MVOCs produced by animals. They also eliminate any airborne moisture to prevent mold and mildew growth. This eliminates stale air and creates a healthier indoor environment.
In closing, proper ventilation is very important in any veterinary clinic. Animals and people alike will feel much more comfortable, safe, and healthy if you make sure your clinic is correctly ventilated!