With the World Health Organization acknowledging the emerging evidence that COVID-19 is likely to characterize airborne spread, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has determined that airborne exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 can be controlled with the help of HVAC systems. What comes as a relief is that HVAC systems can help reduce the airborne concentration of the virus, thus minimizing the chances of transmission of the virus through air. This calls for complete preparedness and planning on the owners' and operators' part. There are a series of measures that can be taken to ensure that your HVAC system is optimized such that it helps prevent the airborne transmission of the virus. What's more is that these measures are recommended by ASHRAE.
If you're asking how exactly HVAC systems can help manage the air quality during the COVID-19 pandemic times, let us enlighten you. HVAC systems help in controlling the spread of airborne pollutants by circulating and spreading fresh air in the space. It is when the droplets carrying the virus are present in the space that you're more prone to being infected. And when the HVAC system keeps filtering out the air in the space, you get rid of the virus-infused droplets. However, HVAC systems are useful during the COVID pandemic times only as long as they are optimized to help curb the spread of the virus. We suggest you read through our list of measures that will help you stay prepared to ensure that you do your bit to curb the spread of the virus, especially indoors with the help of HVAC system for air quality control.
Increasing and optimizing outdoor air ventilation helps in preventing the immediate recirculation of the contaminated air back indoors. And in order to facilitate this, there is a need for assessing factors such as the unit capacity, space requirements, and climate for humidity and temperature. This can be carried out in the most practical manner by following a few guidelines. When the engineers ensure that the exhaust and outside air intake have no obstructions, using humidification equipment and controls to further maintain levels of humidity, and ensuring that zone and economizer dampers and system fans operate properly among others, outdoor air ventilation can be optimized.
Outsource2india specializes in developing and optimizing HVAC systems, including optimizing outdoor air (OA) ventilation by adhering to the ASHRAE international standards. We are proficient in Integrated Building Management System and associated services, and we apply energy modeling simulation techniques to ensure optimal outcomes. When it comes to HVAC control strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are a one-stop-solution.
One of the essential measures for preventive maintenance is air filtration. In fact, changing air filters as and when required is a part of routine HVAC maintenance. And when addressing the problem of increased chances of COVID-19 spread, air filtration should be increased as high as possible while also ensuring that the air flow is not diminished, as recommended by CDC.
Addressing the issue of COVID spread, ASHRAE recommends use of air filters that have a MERV rating of 13 or 14, if possible. ASHRAE has developed a testing methodology, that is, minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), and most commercial HVAC systems have a MERV rating of 6 to 8. MERV 6 to MERV 8 are around 20% efficient, while MERV 13 and 14 filters are 85 to 90% efficient, and HVAC systems with this degree of efficiency help filter out coronavirus that are attached to droplets. While implementing this can be challenging, working with experts, such as Outsource2india, who understand international standards and procedures and adhere to the latest guidelines as followed by the international society will help you implement these measures without any hassles.
Your HVAC coils and condensate drain pans can be kept clean with the help of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology. This technology operates to inactivate microorganisms and stifles their growth on wet surface. This helps in the transfer of heat and reduces maintenance, thus helping in air quality monitoring. For the HVAC system to be equipped to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it can be designed and optimized for around 99.9% of inactivation as recommended by ASHRAE.
If a building has an older HVAC system that is not as flexible, it is recommended to upgrade HVAC systems for air quality control during COVID-19 such that the fixed-speed fan motors are replaced with variable ones in order to control the airflow. It is also crucial to introduce airflow-control systems that are pressure-sensitive. This allows for the airflow adjustment to be a lot smoother. With this, there is also a need for the installation of high-performance air-purification systems for optimal indoor air quality monitoring.
HVAC systems have always been optimized to address various issues pertaining to the quality of air. And in today's time, one of the most crucial issues worth addressing is how to optimize HVAC to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Maintaining and operating HVAC systems well with the help of experts is the way to go. We, at Outsource2india are adept at installing new HVAC systems as well as remodeling or upgrading the existing ones. We can help design and develop HVAC systems such that the indoor environment can be improved. We are completely familiar with all the international guidelines in designing and developing HVAC systems that comply with the regulations, ensuring complete safety and security in our designs.
As you take all the preventive measures from wearing masks to sanitizing your hands from time to time along with being in a well-ventilated space that is equipped with HVAC systems, the chances of transmission of COVID-19 can definitely be lowered.
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