Maintenance Guide, Regulatory Guide

F-Tag 584: Comfortable & Safe Temperature Levels

PTACS, HVAC | Last Updated on October 20, 2020

Set your PTACs to safe temperature levels according to F-Tag 584.

F-Tag 584 Temperature Limiting

Resident comfort is important and should be a priority in Senior Living communities, but did you know that buildings can be cited by the state for not maintaining reasonable temperatures?

The regulation is F-Tag 584 (formerly F-Tag F257) and relates to comfortable and safe temperature levels. It states that facilities initially certified after October 1, 1990 must maintain a temperature range of 71°F to 81°F.

In November of 2017, this regulation was officially combined as a sub point under F-Tag 584, which states that residents have the “right to a safe, clean comfortable and homelike environment, including but not limited to receiving treatment and supports for daily living safely,” including that the physical layout of the facility “maximizes resident independence” and does not create a safety risk. The facility is also charged with exercising “reasonable care” for protecting residents’ property from loss or theft.

F-Tag 584 states facilities must maintain a range of 71°F to 81°F.

Temperature control panel

Even though F-Tag 257 is no longer a valid number, the exact same verbiage is still clearly called out as a sub point under the new tag. F-Tag 584. Though the regulation seems fairly straightforward (providing an exact range of temperatures that buildings must maintain), there is some gray area not specifically called out in the regulation text.

F-Tag 584 references “comfortable and safe temperature levels”, which is essentially stating that the ambient temperature in a given space should be close enough to the range required, that they can be quickly brought to within range if requested.

Being too far out of that range can impact a resident’s health. This is particularly important in Senior Living because of the risks associated with the loss of body temperature, which could be fatal in some situations. Additional concerns would include the common cough or lung ailments.

It cannot be mandated that the temperatures always be within the 71°F to 81°F regulation because it’s impossible to control outdoor temperatures. Outdoor temperatures fluctuate – often well beyond the 71°F to 81°F range, and this drastically impacts the temperature on the inside of the building. The goal is to maintain temperatures that are close to the range.

State surveyors will measure the air temperature above the floor level in spaces of the building that residents are typically in (e.g.. resident rooms, therapy spaces or dining/activity rooms). If the temperatures are outside of the range at the time of the survey, the surveyor will ask questions around what measures the staff takes when a resident makes a complaint about the temperature.

Staff should be able to clearly articulate what steps they take in a given space. Some examples could include: “We adjust the temperature of the PTAC in the resident room,” “we have blankets on hand to provide to residents,“ or other like measures to ensure that a resident is comfortable.

Learn more about how to maintain safe and comfortable temperature levels under F-Tag 584 by selecting the ideal PTAC for your community with our PTAC selection guide , or shop our extensive offering of PTACs today!

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