A specialized manufacturing environment where the concentration of airborne particles is controlled to specified limits is known as a clean room. They are used in industries where small particles can adversely affect the manufacturing process, such as the electronics, pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and medical device industries. These special constructions are planned and built following strict protocols and methods to prevent contaminants from entering the clean room environment.
Air flow rates and direction, temperature, humidity, and pressure must all be controlled, and contaminants must continually be removed from the air in order to meet the standards required by Federal Standard 209E and ISO 14644-1. This means the HVAC system plays an important role in ensuring air quality in a cleanroom isn't compromised.
Routine maintenance to keep these HVAC systems clean and running properly is essential. Frequent and careful attention must be paid to:
- Coils - Regular maintenance to clean coils helps keep the system efficient and mitigates bacterial growth. Keeping coils clean is an important point of maintenance for any clean room HVAC system. The system should be cleaned regularly with EPA-registered mold and mildew inhibitors.
- Filters - Pre-filters, standard filters, and high-efficiency filters keep contaminants out of the air and help assure standards are met. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are used for the final cleaning of air before it goes into the clean room. HEPA filters are important for maintaining contamination control. They filter particles as small as 0.3 microns with 99.97% minimum particle-collective efficiency.
- Duct work - Clean ductwork is important in a cleanroom environment. The duct work should be inspected every time you change filters in your clean room HVAC system.
- Blowers - Regular maintenance of a clean room should include the inspection and cleaning of blowers in the air handler units.
The clean room HVAC system is a critical part of a clean room. It requires understanding of airflow, pressurization, temperature, humidity, filtration requirements, and in-depth knowledge of standards and codes.