Taras Verkhoglyad
Sales Development Representative, Arloid Automation

HVAC & Hospitals – The Importance of Heating Control in Hospitals

Hospitals have uniquely diverse thermal requirements – making effective HVAC control vital. Hospitals also have complex histories, with new wings and wards added over the years each demonstrating varied thermal performance. In such a challenging setting, energy efficient HVAC control can be a real struggle – but the sustainable hospital of the future is already here.

Arloid is transforming the function of HVAC systems in hospitals across the globe. Our innovative AI is capable of zoning hospital buildings into microclimates, ensuring each area has the optimum conditions for its function and occupancy using live, real time data.

In this blog, we highlight 5 of the many reasons why hospital HVAC and heating control is so important.

Hygiene & Safety

Arguably the most critical function of HVAC in hospitals is to maintain indoor air quality and hygiene, limiting the spread of infection. Not only do hospitals contain high concentrations of airborne pathogens, but they also contain a significant proportion of vulnerable people. Maintaining ventilation and temperature and controlling the circulation of air from certain areas is critical to the overall safety of the building.

For high risk areas like wards for infectious diseases, hospitals operate negative pressure rooms which isolate the air. Instead of pushing air out when the door opens, air is sucked in from outside the ward due to the difference in pressure – keeping the contaminated air inside.

For certain areas of the hospital building, cooler temperatures are required to limit the growth of bacteria and fungi. From aseptic operating rooms to the morgue, the careful maintenance of low temperatures is vital to achieve.

Medical Equipment Function

Some medical equipment depends on certain temperatures and environmental conditions to function effectively. HVAC is crucial here not only for safeguarding performance, but for decreasing time between patients, and limiting maintenance requirements.

The right temperature is critical for rooms with MRI scanners inside. These machines operate via two powerful magnets at their core which need to be kept cold in order to function. Keeping the room on the cold side supports the machine’s own internal cooling system, and ensures the machine can function efficiently.

Another example is CT scanners. These machines need to cool between patients before a further scan can be initiated. Maintaining cool thermal conditions in rooms with CT scanners therefore boosts productivity by increasing the number of patients that can be processed in a given period of time.

Patient Comfort

Dr Edward Trudeau’s famous aphorism still rings true today: ‘to cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always’. Whatever patients are going through, providing comfort in their moment of need is of paramount importance, allowing them to feel confident, cared for, and safe. Here, HVAC has a key role to play.

From the elderly to newborn babies, there are many occupants of hospital buildings that will be particularly vulnerable to temperature fluctuations. More than that, certain conditions can make patients feel colder than normal, and all patients will be carrying out lower levels of activity than normal – reducing metabolic heat.

HVAC systems are vital for maintaining the thermal conditions of hospitals, ensuring patients throughout the building feel neither too warm nor too cold. And, according to research, improved indoor environmental quality can reduce average time spent in hospitals by 11%.

Varied Thermal Requirements

Different areas of a hospital have vastly different thermal requirements depending on their function. As a result, it’s crucial there is the HVAC infrastructure in place to accurately split the building into distinct sections and adjust conditions accordingly.

Operating rooms are often kept cool to maintain the comfort of staff at work in surgical dress, as well as preserve aseptic conditions. In recovery wards, however, the conditions are likely to be warmer in order to provide the best levels of patient comfort possible.

To address these complex requirements, many hospitals are embracing the potential of AI technology to achieve more nuanced and intelligent control of their thermal environments. Working across thermal microzones, AI is able to proactively and efficiently maintain the optimum HVAC settings for each area according to occupant needs and room use.

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Staff Performance

HVAC can have an impact on the productivity of hospital staff, and ensuring their comfort while at work means safeguarding standards of care. Simply put, if healthcare workers feel uncomfortable due to the thermal environment of the hospital, their performance, efficiency, and mood may be affected.

However, achieving the optimum conditions for staff members is not always easy. From administrative personnel to kitchen staff to doctors on the move, each individual will have different requirements depending on their level of activity, location, and clothing. High levels of PPE, for example, can cause someone to overheat rapidly.

Above all, temperature control is a balancing act – and nothing does balance as well as our pioneering AI technology. Working with live data in real time, arloid.ai can adjust settings in line with weather, occupancy levels, and occupant feedback, ensuring your hospital staff have the conditions they need to perform.

Cutting-Edge AI for Hospital Heating & HVAC Control

Improve thermal control in your hospital with the help of Arloid’s pioneering AI. Our multi-cloud technology is compatible with any existing BMS system, enabling you to harness the power of optimised energy use, safety, and comfort whatever the challenges. With our help, you can boost the performance and efficiency of your HVAC system for the benefit of staff, patients, and the planet.

Contact us today to find out more.

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