What function does pharmaceutical HVAC have? | Acrex by ISHRAE & Informamarkets

What function does pharmaceutical HVAC have?

In the pharmaceutical industry, it is important to maintain precise environmental conditions to ensure the safety, quality, and efficacy of medications. Pharmaceutical HVAC systems play a critical role. HVAC in pharmaceuticals provides comprehensive air handling and control. It creates the ideal environment for every stage of pharmaceutical production, from research and development to storage and distribution.

Functions of Pharmaceutical HVAC include:

1. Managing Temperature: Pharmaceutical products are sensitive to temperature fluctuations. This can affect their chemical properties and stability.

Pharmaceutical HVAC systems precisely control temperature within a narrow range of 15°C and 25°C. This is achieved through a combination of heating and cooling components that includes chillers, boilers, and air handling units.

2. Controlling Humidity: Humidity levels are critical for pharmaceutical stability. Excessive moisture can promote bacterial growth and degradation of products. Low humidity can lead to static electricity and product damage.

Pharmaceutical HVAC systems maintain optimal humidity levels of 30% and 50%. This is done through dehumidification and humidification technologies.

Here are some common dehumidification technologies used in pharmaceutical facilities:

  • Desiccant dehumidifiers use adsorbent materials like silica gel to absorb moisture from the air.
  • Refrigerant dehumidifiers work like a refrigerator in reverse, condensing moisture from the air onto a cold coil.
  • Membrane dehumidifiers use a semi-permeable membrane to selectively remove water vapor from the air.

Here are some common humidification technologies used in pharmaceutical facilities:

  • Steam humidifiers use steam to add moisture to the air.
  • Spray humidifiers spray a fine mist of water into the air.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers use high-frequency sound waves to create a cool mist of water.

3. Modulating Airflow: Precise airflow control is vital to prevent contamination and to ensure consistent product quality. Pharmaceutical HVAC systems ensure adequate air circulation, directing clean air into critical areas and removing contaminated air effectively.

It is done with the use of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. It removes dust and other airborne contaminants. The air balancing techniques maintain consistent pressure gradients.

4. Pressure Control: It is important to maintain proper pressure differentials between different areas of a pharmaceutical facility to prevent cross-contamination. Pharmaceutical HVAC systems use specialized air handling units and pressure control mechanisms to ensure positive or negative pressure gradients as needed.

This helps to prevent the spread of airborne contaminants from areas with lower cleanliness standards to areas with higher standards.

5. Air Handling Units and Ducting: Pharmaceutical HVAC systems rely on specialized air handling units (AHUs) and ducting systems. AHUs condition the air by controlling temperature, humidity, and filtration.

Pharmaceutical-grade AHUs are constructed from materials that are compatible with pharmaceutical products and meet strict cleanliness standards. Ducting systems are designed to minimize the risk of contamination and facilitate efficient air distribution throughout the facility.

Routine inspections and maintenance form the cornerstone of an efficient pharmaceutical HVAC system as it ensures its longevity and optimal performance. HVAC professionals conduct thorough checks on components like filters, ductwork, fans, motors, and sensors during these inspections.

Well-maintained HVAC systems operate more efficiently and align with sustainability goals. Proactive maintenance leads to long-term cost savings for pharmaceutical facilities.


Pharmaceutical HVAC systems are the main strength of a controlled and contamination-free environment essential for the pharmaceutical industry.

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Acrex India 2020

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Date & Opening Times
27 - 29 February, 2020
10:00 am - 6:00 pm


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