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the dangers of badly maintained air conditioning at work

The Dangers Of Badly Maintained Air Conditioning At Work

A well maintained air conditioning system can provide your office or workplace with a wide range of benefits; by regulating the temperature, it can help keep you and your employees comfortable, happy and therefore productive. However regular maintenance is always vital, as a damaged system can have an array of negative effects; some of them immediate and a few of them even deadly.

Impacting Productivity and Contaminating The Air

Contamination from air conditioning system

While there are many benefits of a perfectly working air conditioning systems, its duties and function are actually both very simple – to regulate the temperature in a room. A malfunctioning unit more often than not fails at this task, leaving the temperature in a room either slightly or extremely unbalanced. You don’t have to work in an office to recognise that personal temperature can have a dramatic knock-on effect to productivity. An environment that is too hot or too cold can distract workers from their tasks, making them less productive in turn.

Unlike heating systems, the process of cooling air creates a great deal of moisture and condensation, which functioning units channel away. However, a malfunctioning unit can leave traces of moisture in its interior, and these dark, warm, damp spaces make perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. This can cause unpleasant smells and decrease the unit’s efficiency. Even worse, the air conditioning unit may well then be dispersing these germs into your office for your workers to breathe in, potentially making them vulnerable to allergies and asthma problems. Symptoms include nasal issues, itchy eyes, headaches, nausea or difficulty breathing. If any of these symptoms start to occur, it’s imperative to call a technician immediately.

Potentially Poisoning Employees From Air Conditioning Units

Technician fixing air conditioning unit

Another issue commonly associated with malfunctioning units is coolant leakage, which can be an even more extreme health hazard, with potentially fatal consequences. In many cases it’s to do with a malfunctioning Schrader valve (an internal mechanism that recharges the unit with refrigerant). The seal around this valve can degrade over time, resulting in leakage of the coolant. If this happens, it can evaporate into a gas, which the air conditioning unit will then pump into the atmosphere of your office. This gas is extremely dangerous – it can also cause nausea and headaches, but also vomiting, coughing and dizziness. If you spot any of these symptoms among your colleagues or employees, they could be early warning signs of refrigerant poisoning, in which case you need to turn off your unit, get medical help and then call a technician without delay. Deaths from refrigerant poisoning are not unknown, which makes it all the more important for you to take quick, decisive action.

Don’t Underestimate Regular Maintenance Of Air Con Systems

air conditioning maintenance man

Though some items on this list may sound dramatic, thankfully there’s an easy way to avoid them – all it takes is regular service and maintenance of air conditioning systems by an Askews engineer. Every one of our highly trained engineers is adept at spotting any emerging, current or developing issues with your system, and can take the appropriate action at once to continue safeguarding the health and comfort of both you and your employees.

You can read more about the other services we offer, or read about some other companies and organisations who are already benefitting from our expertise. If you need any help or advice, don’t hesitate can always contact us on 01282 863825.

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