Technical Corner: A Quantum Leap Forward in HVAC Hygiene (Part 3)

When initially admitted, their doctor asked their employer to take a sample within the air handler and check to see what kind of bacteria he was dealing with in order to treat the infection. Tests by the employer indicated there were so many bacteria and fungal types present in the air handler it was impossible to determine what the specific source of infection could be.

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What It All Means

To say that occupants are universally at risk because of biologically laden and dirty air handlers is perhaps a stretch of the truth.

It is undeniable however that dirty units are not assisting occupant’s health. Those with lowered immune systems, for example young people and those older, are most likely to be affected.

Of course, most patients in hospitals wouldn’t be there in the first place if there immune systems were up to par, so dirty air handlers in these locations make it particularly harmful to this population grouping. Of all people affected then, hospital patients represent those least able to deal with the influence of poor air quality.

Maintenance workers are however much more likely to have problems with biologically laden air handlers.

I knew three such maintenance workers at a major resort area in Florida. Having worked with these men over a period of three years, they were hard workers and fairly observant. When I hadn’t seen them for several months, I inquired where they were. I found they were in the hospital for quite a while with staph infections picked up when they were working within one of the older and dirtier air handlers. Apparently they had gotten cuts on their hands and arms while inside the air handler.

When initially admitted, their doctor asked their employer to take a sample within the air handler and check to see what kind of bacteria he was dealing with in order to treat the infection. Tests by the employer indicated there were so many bacteria and fungal types present in the air handler it was impossible to determine what the specific source of infection could be.

To be continued……………………..

Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Lynn Burkhart is the founder and president of Controlled Release Technologies, Inc. located in Shelby, North Carolina. More information about the company, and its products, can be found at

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