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Monitoring Carbon Monoxide and Hazardous Gases in HVAC Systems and Enclosed Areas

In today's society, most residential and commercial structures including schools, offices, hospitals, parking garages and warehouses utilize heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. HVAC systems are used to alter the inside environment more comfortable compared to the outside. Heating systems warm the indoor air temperature by burning a fuel source.Cooling systems chill the indoor air by using chemical refrigerants such as ammonia, sulfur dioxide and hydrocarbons. While the average person only notices temperature, there is much more to HVAC than just temperature. Having proper ventilation throughout a structure is extremely important for both functional and safety reasons.Continuously replenishing the oxygen through the building by a forced or natural ventilation system can dramatically increase the air quality. Ventilation systems are installed to refresh the air in a controlling temperature, moisture, odors, smoke, heat, dust and potentially hazardous gases. Recently, architects and engineers have become more aware of indoor air quality in enclosed buildings where dangerous gases are present. Carbon monoxide (CO) is one of the most common gases found in parking garages, tunnels, vehicle repair shops, car dealerships, bus and train terminals, factories and warehouses. Without proper ventilation system enclosed areas and can easily accumulate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide due to motor vehicles or other exhaust producers. Monitoring Carbon Monoxide and Hazardous Gases in HVAC Systems and Enclosed Areas
CO is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States. Based on statistics from Center for Disease Control, this odorless, tasteless gas sends nearly 15,000 people to the emergency room annually and kills approximately 500. Depending on the CO concentration levels and the duration time of exposure, negative health effects can pursue. Persons exposed to high levels can experience headaches, nausea, fatigue, hallucinations, confusion, staggering, heart palpitation, unconsciousness and potentially death.CO emissions deplete all the oxygen in a space, essentially causing asphyxiation. In order to avert these scenarios, mechanical contractors and HVAC specialists can install CO monitoring and ventilations systems. Similar to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is produced bygas stoves, fireplaces, kerosene heaters and gas space heaters. Buildings should be properly vented indoor to handle the nitrogen dioxide emissions. Prolonged NO2 exposure can result in decreased lung function, respiratory infections, asthmatic symptoms, pulmonary edema and acute lung injury. Ventilation systems combined with the right gas detection monitors reduces this danger. 24 hour ventilation system operation can be costly due to the increasing price of electricity, but new gas detection technology can now reduce the amount of time the fan is actually running. The system sensors trigger the fans to turn on when a dangerous level when the oxygen levels are dangerously low. Parking facilities, power generation plants, manufacturing factories and industrial warehouses are beginning to take a proactive stance against poor indoor air quality.
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