How to Properly Set Up Your Negative Air Machine
A negative air machine is an incredibly effective tool in the battle against infection. Its ability to create a negative air pressure environment makes it possible to contain hazardous particles.
If you’ve never implemented a negative air machine before, making sure it’s optimally set up to meet all containment measures can be a bit overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips for making sure your negative air machine is properly set up to provide a clean, safe work environment for patients and workers alike.
Create Optimal Conditions
The effectiveness of a negative air machine relies heavily on infrastructure. In order to create a safe space for dust containment, the entire job site or containment area needs to be walled off from the surrounding buildings. Without permanent or temporary barriers, a negative air pressure environment can’t exist. Here are three ways to ensure a space is set up correctly:
- Continuously monitor the air pressure in the containment area.
- Make sure the mechanism is connected to ducting that exhausts the air outside of the contained area.
- Always have the area enclosed.
Sometimes a positive air pressure environment is necessary, like for instance, if you’re trying to keep a certain room free from dust or hazardous particles because HEPA-filtered air will be circulating into the space. Fortunately, this is entirely possible to achieve with a negative air machine. The only adjustment necessary is to put the machine outside the containment area and direct ducting into the area.
A successful implementation of a negative air machine includes being able to meet regulations about air changes per hour, or ACH. For a high-risk area, like a hospital construction environment, it's critical to build a containment area that meets the ACH requirements, which can be anywhere between 6 and 12 ACH, meaning the air in the room must be completely replaced between 6 and 12 times an hour. Proper set up of airflow is an important aspect of infection control management.
A negative air machine can be an effortless integration for facilities. It can be as simple as setting up the machine according to manufacturer instructions as well as dust containment regulations. With minimal effort, a negative air machine can easily be the difference in your facilities infection control tactics.