COVID-19 pandemic has affected all different aspects of our lives. From the way we do our jobs to the way we interact with each other; great efforts have been made to flatten the curve and create what we call the “new normal.” As businesses resume their operations, more and more workers have been getting back to their office buildings, along with their fear of the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. As experts in powered ventilation services, we would like to further discuss this topic and propose some precautionary measures that commercial building owners can take to combat the issue.
Experts’ Opinions on the Correlation Between Ventilation Systems and COVID-19 Spreading
In a podcast interview conducted by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, Dr. Ana María Rule, a Hopkins ventilation expert, mentioned that ventilation systems had been generally used to reduce the risks of exposure to harmful elements in the air. An article published by the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in May 2020 has also suggested that the HVAC systems in most non-medical buildings have little to do with infectious disease transmission, including COVID-19. However, it is still the responsibility of commercial building owners to keep up with their ventilation systems and make sure that building occupants are aware of the efforts made in this regard.
Ways to Optimize Building Ventilation for COVID-19
Inspect the System Periodically
Without proper maintenance to promote indoor air quality, you are bound to face some serious issues like leaks or airflow reduction – not to mention the circulation of dirty air. In addition, reactive maintenance can also lead to shorter life expectancy and more serious damage to your ventilation system. As a general rule of thumb, you should schedule commercial HVAC maintenance twice a year. Make sure to do thorough research before entrusting your system to an HVAC contractor.
If you find it challenging to navigate air quality maintenance throughout the pandemic, stick to the guidelines proposed by the ASHRAE or and/or the CDC. With an overwhelming amount of information from various sources suggesting different things, it is always safe to follow the guidance from trusted organizations and keep up with their updates.
Keep the Ventilation on 24/7
It is recommended to keep the ventilation on before and after hours of operation in the building. If possible, commercial building owners should consider keeping it running 24/7 preferably with lowered ventilation rates when there are no occupants left. This helps move virus particles out of the building. In addition, make sure that you also set the right temperature for the building. According to the Global Heat Health Information Network (GHHIN), you should set temperatures between 24oC/75oF and 27oC/ 80.5oF for cooling during the warmer weather, and relative humidity (RH) between 50% and 60%. Avoid setting climate control systems to lower temperatures (below 70oF/ 21oC) and low humidity settings (below 40%) as it would create an optimal environment for the SARS-COV-2 virus to survive and remain in your building for days.
Design Components, Inc. – Your Trusted Source for Powered Ventilation Services
At Design Components, we understand the importance of building ventilation optimization, especially during an unprecedented crisis that we are all facing. That is why we are committed to providing only the best products to our customers to help enhance the quality of their ventilation systems. Our heavy-duty fans keep your metal buildings cool and the air circulating. We offer them in both wall-mounted and roof-mounted options. Let us help you bring your ventilation system to the next level and create a safe working environment in your commercial building.
For more information, call us today at (800) 868-9910 or Contact Us Now.