Fighting COVID-19 With Your HVAC System

Fighting COVID-19 With Your HVAC System

Fighting COVID-19 With Your HVAC System

Unfortunately, we have all been affected by this terrible virus. It has changed our everyday lives and how businesses manage their facilities. Many states are in the process of or developing plans to, reopen nonessential businesses. With that being said, it needs to be done safely.

Considering the virus is known to be transmitted through the air, it is believed that a properly maintained HVAC system can reduce the possibility of transmission from person to person. The reasoning behind this is supported by the fact that when a person infected with an illness coughs or sneezes, pathogens can be encapsulated within droplets of fluid and discharged into the air.

Smaller particles referred to as droplet nuclei can remain suspended. Infectious aerosols are a gathering of pathogen-laden particles in the air. Aerosol particles may deposit onto or be inhaled by a vulnerable person. HVAC systems supply clean air, contain contaminated air, and exhaust it outdoors, dilute the air with cleaner air from outdoors. Because of this, experts feel the risk of spread can be affected both positively and negatively by an HVAC system in a building.

What The Experts Are Saying

In April 2020, The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) issued several statements to assist in defining guidance on managing SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease (Coronavirus). The first was developed in response to incorrect opinions surrounding HVAC systems.

ASHRAE disagrees with advice not to run residential or commercial HVAC systems and emphasizes that keeping air conditioners on during this time can help control the spread of the virus. Here is the official statement regarding airborne transmission:

“Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.”

- The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)


Here is a second ASHRAE statement regarding the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems to reduce SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 transmission:

“Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air. Unconditioned spaces can cause thermal stress to people that may be directly life threatening and that may also lower resistance to infection. In general, disabling of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems is not a recommended measure to reduce the transmission of the virus.”

- The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

What It Means

Given these opinions, routine preventative maintenance (PM) and the changing of HVAC filters have never been more important. PMs paired with other strategies such as temperature and humidity distribution control and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) are believed to help reduce virus transmission while removing other air contaminants. While ventilation can’t address all aspects of infection spread, it does impact the circulation of infectious aerosols.

Some Recommendations Moving Forward:

  • If installing/designing a new system, whether a high-risk facility or not, the mitigation of infectious aerosols needs more focus than in the past. Also, make sure there are cleaner airflow patterns.
  • Increase PM frequency. At a minimum, a quarterly inspection should be taking place and paired with monthly filter changes if possible.
  • Enhance filtration and use higher minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) filters, well over code minimums. Everyone should be using filters rated between 13-16 if the systems support them.
  • Clean coils at every service and chemically clean once annually.
  • Increase outdoor air ventilation (open outdoor air dampers to 100% as conditions permit).
  • Keep systems running as much as possible, preferably 24/7.
  • Verify the room sensors are calibrated and working properly.
  • Ensure room controllers and monitors are working and communicating with supply and exhaust airflow valves.

Medical Facilities Should Consider The Following:

  • Exhaust toilets and bedpans.
  • Maintain temperature and humidity as applicable to the infectious aerosol of concern.
  • Maintain negatively pressurized intensive care units and rooms with infectious aerosol concerns.
  • High-level exhaust to all patient rooms.
  • Use of UVGI.
  • Increase the outdoor air change rate.

Final Thoughts

As people around the globe navigate the rapidly evolving novel COVID-19 pandemic, it is extremely important to educate yourself as frequently as possible. We are learning something new every day and it is our responsibility to make sure we take all the necessary precautions to keep employees and customers safe. If you haven’t had an HVAC PM completed in the past 3 months, it’s very important to get one scheduled ASAP.

Contact Us

To learn more about HVAC and Handyman maintenance for your multi-site portfolio, give Ferrandino & Son a call to speak with a Business Development Representative at:
866-571-4609
You can also reach us at:
 sales@ferrandinoandson.com

Everything You Need to Know About Floor Drains

Everything You Need to Know About Floor Drains

Everything You Need to Know About Floor Drains

In the family of indoor plumbing, people often overlook floor drains. Commercially floor drains are typically located on the floor in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements or anywhere there is a possibility of water being spilled on the floor where it can cause damage or a hazardous condition.

These drains are often ignored, simply because these fixtures are hiding in plain sight. Floor drains do not require much attention because we never seem to use them. They only come to life when a toilet or sink overflows and then we need that drain to take away the water before it becomes damaging. Many issues with floor drains can be avoided with some pre-planning and simple care. Following these easy maintenance tasks will ensure that your floor drains will do their job when you need them to and prevent flooding and the expensive water damage left behind.

FILL TRAPS OFTEN

Indoor floor drains capture overflow from sinks, toilets, tubs, water heaters, washing machines, etc. Outdoor floor drains quickly move water away from surfaces during and after heavy rainstorms. Whether indoors or outdoors, floor drains are designed to efficiently and safely direct water to a sewer or municipal storm drain so that the floor stays dry and rooms don’t flood. The purpose of traps is to prevent sewer odors and gasses from making their way through the drain and into your home. Make sure to fill or prime these traps regularly to ensure they’re full of water and working as they should – simply pour a gallon of water down each floor drain to keep it primed. This is also good practice to assure you that the drain line is open and water flows through it as well. The water will fill the trap, forming a barrier between your home and your sewer system.

CLEAR CLOGS IMMEDIATELY

Many different types of debris collect on your floor, from pet hair to dust bunnies. All the debris runs the risk of potentially clogging the floor drain. The first sign of a drain clogging is if it is draining slowly. If you catch the clog early on, clean it as soon as possible to reduce the risk of flooding. Typically, a few strong pumps with a plunger can clear that minor clog. If not, try pouring a solution of baking soda and vinegar down the drain. If you have a drain auger, feed the cable into the drain until you meet resistance, then turn the cable and try to reel back whatever is clogging the drain.

CLEAN YOUR DRAINS REGULARLY

At least once each quarter, check your drains for debris and clear them. If necessary, use a safe liquid drain cleaner or, if your drains haven’t been cleaned in a while, have a professional plumber do the job for you. It’s also a good idea to schedule professional drain cleanings annually to prevent clogs and keep your drains running.

Moving Forward

It’s important to keep your floor drains in working order. These are meant to keep your location safe and clean. If you spot your floor drain not draining, it’s time to try some of these eco-friendly drain cleaning tactics or call a professional! 

Contact Us

To learn more about plumbing programs for your multi-site portfolio, give Ferrandino & Son a call at:

866-571-4609

and ask to speak to someone in our Business Development Team. You can also reach us at:

 sales@ferrandinoandson.com

The Benefits Of Trenchless Pipe Repair

The Benefits Of Trenchless Pipe Repair

The Benefits of Trenchless Pipe Repair

Processes for fixing pipes have come a long way thanks to innovative technologies that enable plumbing professionals to address these issues more effectively. Trenchless pipe repair allows plumbers to take action in a way that wasn’t possible before, and homeowners can realize several advantages from this method. Here are a few of the benefits you can yield by going with trenchless pipe repair:

LESS DAMAGE

When you work hard to maintain your lawn and assorted landscaping features, it can come as a blow that plumbers need to dig a trench to access an underground sewer pipe. However, trenchless plumbing repair techniques such as pipe bursting or pipe relining requires only one or two small access holes, usually at the entrance and exit of the pipes. This will significantly reduce the damage to your landscaping and will save thousands of dollars in yard repairs.

BETTER QUALITY AND FUNCTION

Trenchless pipe repairs put in cured-in-place liners or seamless Polyethylene piping, providing a better quality piping material for long-term benefits. These pipes help prevent off-set pipes, cracks, corrosion, rusting and tree root invasions. This benefit makes trenchless methods perfect for reducing the need for future repairs for decades to come.
In addition to providing a higher quality material, the trenchless pipe liners can increase flow capacity, helping the pipes to last longer and preventing future clogs. Homeowners can rest easy that they won’t have to clean out their sewer line as often or need to worry about a burst pipe in the near future.

FASTER COMPLETION TIMELINE

The trenchless plumbing repair method can take substantially less time than older traditional approaches, but a variety of factors come into play. Crews often finish in a single day, depending on the extent of the repair. This benefit means that homeowners will enjoy a quick and tidy repair without a lot of damage to landscaping, driveways, sidewalks or trees.

Moving Forward

The benefits of trenchless pipe repair make it a no-brainer for homeowners who need to fix their plumbing system. With less damage, faster completion and better quality, the trenchless method will save you money and provide a pipe solution that will last longer.

Contact Us

To learn more about plumbing programs for your multi-site portfolio, give Ferrandino & Son a call at:

866-571-4609

and ask to speak to someone in our Business Development Team. You can also reach us at:

 sales@ferrandinoandson.com

The Warning Signs Of A Main Sewer Line Blockage

The Warning Signs Of A Main Sewer Line Blockage

The Warning Signs of a
Main Sewer Line Blockage

Your sewer line is one of the most vital parts of your plumbing system – and if it becomes damaged or clogged, it could wreak unwelcome issues on your property. Offset or damaged pipes could cost a lot to repair or replace. The sooner you detect a sewer line breakage or clog, the more likely it is you’ll be able to fix it without a huge hassle or cost. Damage tends to worsen over time. 

Watch out for these warning signs that your sewer line might be blocked:

SLOW DRAINING SINKS AND BATHTUBS

When you have a main sewer line problem, your sinks, toilets, floor drains, and other plumbing fixtures will drain slowly or not at all. Multiple fixtures may be affected by this problem. For instance, if you run the washing machine and the toilet overflows or the laundry room sink backs up, that’s a definite sign of a blockage somewhere in the drainpipes – after all, the water has to go somewhere.

Also, if you hear gurgling sounds when you flush that could be a sign of a blockage in the drain system. These noises may be an indication that tree roots are to blame for your blockage; root systems are one of the biggest culprits of main sewer line issues. So if you have a large tree near your sewer line, its roots could be the problem. This is particularly true if you have an older sewer made of clay or concrete because roots can work their way inside the pipe via the pipe joints. Tiny feeder roots find their way inside seeking moisture. Once inside, they will grow larger, acting as a net to catch toilet paper and waste until a clog forms.

CONSTANT NEED TO PLUNGE

If it seems you’re experiencing more toilet clogs than you used to, that’s an indication that the real clog problem might be farther downstream in your drainage system. The same is true with your kitchen sink. Is it clogging or running slowly more often than it used to? The fact is that if you have more than one slow drain in your house or multiple slow drains, that’s the best indicator that the source of the problem is a clogged sewer.

GET SOME HELP

A sewer clog cannot be treated with a plunger or with over-the-counter chemicals. To clear the sewer line of roots and debris, professional cleaning is required with a heavy-duty drain machine. These electric drain and sewer cleaning machines have a strong, stiff steel cable with a sharp blade on its tip. The cable spins as it travels through the sewer pipe so it cuts away obstructions. It will even shave roots right down to the pipe walls to restore full flow in your sewer pipe. If the Roto-Rooter machine can’t get through the pipe, your service technician can request a video camera inspection of the sewer pipeline to ascertain where the blockage is and its cause. A trained eye will then be able to recommend repair options to the homeowner.

Moving Forward

Always keep an eye (and an ear) out on your plumbing system. It’s best to try to stop an issue before it becomes a large problem. Paying close attention to your system will also save you money in the long run. Never try to fix an issue unless you are sure your solution will not do more harm than good. When in doubt, hire a professional!

Contact Us

To learn more about plumbing programs for your multi-site portfolio, give Ferrandino & Son a call at:

866-571-4609

and ask to speak to someone in our Business Development Team. You can also reach us at:

 sales@ferrandinoandson.com

LEARN HOW TO UNBLOCK DRAINS: THE ECO-FRIENDLY WAY

LEARN HOW TO UNBLOCK DRAINS: THE ECO-FRIENDLY WAY

LEARN HOW TO UNBLOCK DRAINS:
THE ECO-FRIENDLY WAY

A clogged drain is a real hassle, whether it’s in the kitchen or the bathroom. If you want to keep using your plumbing, as usual, that clog has got to go. However, you may not want to have harsh chemical drain cleaners in your home. Children and pets may get into them and present a serious hazard. But you may also want to minimize the number of chemicals you put into the environment via the water supply cycle. If that’s the case, follow these tips to learn how to unblock drains in eco-friendly ways!

TRY USING A PLUNGER FIRST

Using the proper kind of plunger for your drain – and yes, there are plungers that are appropriate to use on a sink. They are usually red rubber and have a shallow suction cup. Plunging the drain may be all you need to do. The suction could force the clog away, leaving you with a clear drain.

TURN TO BAKING SODA

After the plunger method, your drain may not be totally clear. If this is the case, pour a cup of baking soda down it and then 3 cups of very hot water. This can resolve clogs nicely, but if it doesn’t, there are still other tricks to try.

ADD VINEGAR

Vinegar and baking soda may bring elementary school science projects to mind, but in reality, they make a great combination for cleaning drains. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, and then half a cup of white vinegar. You can also heat the vinegar first or follow up the combination with very hot water if it’s a really stubborn clog. Some people also swear by adding just a little lemon juice to the mix.

A Green Solution

Once you’ve tried all these eco-friendly drain cleaning methods, you’re clog should be gone! If it isn’t, don’t turn to a chemical drain cleaner! There could be adverse reactions within your pipes when you mix all these items with chemicals. If your drain still isn’t clear, it’s time to call a professional!

Contact Us

To learn more about plumbing programs for your multi-site portfolio, give Ferrandino & Son a call at:

866-571-4609

and ask to speak to someone in our Business Development Team. You can also reach us at:

 sales@ferrandinoandson.com

3 Common Office Plumbing Issues

3 Common Office Plumbing Issues

3 Common Office Plumbing Issues

It doesn’t matter if your place of business has 10 employees or 100, plumbing issues will be inevitable. However, you can take conscious steps to ensure these problems don’t get serious. Here are some of the most common plumbing issues for your, office and how to fix them:

1. A Clogged Toilet

You probably have experienced a clogged toilet at home before. At an office, more people are using the toilets and urinals, so a backup may occur regularly. In public places, people are a lot more likely to flush items they shouldn’t causing the fixtures to back up. If this happens often in your office, be sure to put up a sign on the doors noting not to. Also, place wastebaskets in between all the stalls so the ladies can easily pitch these things in the trash.

2. Water That's Too Hot or Cold

Have you ever tried to wash your hands in the office’s kitchen only to be met with freezing water from the faucet? If this is a common occurrence, your building’s central water heater might not be working properly. Sometimes this can be fixed by simply resetting the heather, but in other cases, it requires the work from a professional plumber.

The same goes for water pressure. If you notice the faucet isn’t spewing out water at its normal rate, it can be because your aerator is blocked or the fixture needs to be replaced completely. If your faucet pressure is lower than usual, don’t ignore the problem – get it looked at.

3. Bad Odor

No one expects plumbing fixtures to smell like roses, but if you notice something particularly odorous, it could be a part of a larger issue. Many smells can be a telltale sign there’s water leakage. If you sniff something off, call your local plumber to take a look.

A Green Solution

There are plenty of ways to make your office’s plumbing more environmentally friendly. Your building can install low flush toilets. These are fixtures that use less water – some only 1.1 gallons per flush. Dual-flush toilets, which are fixtures that separate liquid and solid waste, are also popular in buildings. Replacing your old toilets is an essential step in making your building more green and saving money.

Contact Us

To learn more about plumbing programs for your multi-site portfolio, give Ferrandino & Son a call at:

866-571-4609

and ask to speak to someone in our Business Development Team. You can also reach us at:

 sales@ferrandinoandson.com