Air Quality Maintenance Essential for Nursing Homes – Part 1


According to research, the elimination of dust from the air and the sanitization of air conditioning duct systems are imperative when those devices are utilized to control the temperature in nursing home facilities. As the body ages, it loses its ability to directly cope with potentially harmful pollutants that are commonly found in the air.

It comes as no surprise that clean air = healthier people; especially those in our lives that are elderly. These individuals have played a large and very important role in our lives. As they age and become increasingly dependent upon us, we must ensure that they are provided with the absolute best when it comes to both comfort and care.

We must make certain that they nursing homes that house these individuals are ensuring clean air is a top priority. We must make certain that their air conditioning unit is regularly serviced and maintained. The technicians that handle this task should be performing – at the bare minimum – dust elimination and sanitizing the air conditioner’s duct system on a regularly-scheduled basis. If this is not occurring, the air in that nursing home could prove to be devastating to the health of your loved one.

Inside Air Quality Statistics and Facts

Since the year of 1970, structures have been designed and built much tighter in effort to conserve energy and reduce costs; however, a large assortment of studies indicate that this type of construction results in reduced levels of ventilation, trapped pollutants, and numerous health consequences. Individuals that reside within nursing homes spend approximately 90% of all of their time indoors; however, on average, inside air is up to five times more polluted than outside air. In worst case scenarios, indoor air quality may actually reach the point where it is 100 times more polluted than outdoor air.

In structures – such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and state hospitals – where communities of people live, high levels of pollution exist in the air. This makes it increasingly more important to ensure dust is eliminated from the air and that air conditioning duct systems are sanitized on a regular basis.

The following outlines other relevant statistics and facts associated with indoor air quality:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that indoor air quality is in the top 5% of environmental-based dangers in which individuals are consistently exposed.
  • The American Lung Association has stated that poor indoor air quality is the leading cause of all lung cancer diagnoses in the nation.
  • The American Heart Association has established a direct link between low quality air and the development of various types of heart problems.
  • The average person inhales – at least – 15,000 quarts of air each and every single day.
  • This year’s pollen counts are – at minimum – 800% higher than previous years. While typically found outdoors, pollen rates at this percentage will enter into structures and pose significantly health issues to people.
  • Low air quality exacerbates issues in those that have asthma. Today, approximately 1 out of every 10 people have asthma. In the average nursing home, this accounts for a large percentage of residents.
  • A Portuguese-based study found that nursing homes and similar community living environments have large amounts of fungus in the air. Not only does this detrimentally impact the respiratory health, it may also impact the body’s ability to fight off infections, result in the development of allergies, cause skin irritations, increase fatigue levels, and even cause cancer.
  • The Centers for Disease Control has expressed the fact that individuals that are 65 or older and reside in community-based living environments are more at risk for the development of issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as a result of poor air quality.
  • Respiratory problems are considered to be in the top 4 when it comes to large health concerns for the elderly.
  • Respiratory conditions and diseases are ranked as the 3rd leading cause of death among those that are classified as “elderly”.

The European Respiratory Journal Study

While we are focusing more on the nursing homes located within the United States, it has been determined that obtaining information pertaining to the air quality in these facilities is a rather difficult endeavor. Studies and evaluations have been performed and the data obtained indicates that nursing homes do – typically – have a large amount of pollutants in the air, which reduces the quality of air within the facility; however, the most comprehensive of these types of studies was actually conducted in Europe by the European Respiratory Journal. The immensity and comprehensive basis of this study has resulted in it being one of the most relevant of all references on the subject matter of low air quality in nursing homes and the detriment on the health of residents.

This study involved three individual parts:

  1. 50 nursing homes were studied all across Europe. The amount of elderly people that were evaluated totaled 600. The first part of the study was to conduct full medical examinations on each of these individuals.
  2. Each of the individuals examined were provided with a questionnaire. This aspect of the study was utilized to correlate specific factors to that participant’s health.
  3. The indoor and outdoor environment was measured. The equipment utilized for the measurements tested for an assortment of particles that are considered to be relatively small. Examples include ozone pollutants, formaldehyde, and numerous gases.

Thank you for reading the first installment to this very critical series, Air Dust Elimination and Duct System Sanitization Essential for Nursing Homes. We kindly ask that you bookmark our blog and watch for Part 2.

In the next installment, we will outline the findings of the study conducted at the 50 nursing homes and continue to provide you with information on why it is imperative for nursing homes and similar institutions to have dust eliminated from the air and their air conditioning duct system sanitized on a regular basis. 

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, make certain the facility is having these measures done. Not only will it protect the health of those that you love, clean, high-quality air optimizes the health. If you own, operate, and/or manage a nursing home, contact us here at Ronald Smith Heating & Air TODAY to schedule air conditioning dust elimination and duct sanitization services. The health of your residents depends on it: 770-766-9212

Share To: