While COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc across the U.S., organizations were busy studying how air conditioning can slow the spread of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) within a “built environment” (BE). Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems provide cool conditioned air and heating comfort for occupants of both residences and businesses. Through the application of HVAC best practices and recommendations, such as ventilation and filtration, businesses and residences can reduce the spread of COVID-19. Here are a few notable ways that a proper HVAC system can slow down COVID-19 within BEs.
HVAC systems reduce and even end the temperature-related discomforts that you can experience in non-conditioned environments. According to a report by Carrier, effective air conditioning systems can lower your susceptibility to viruses while raising productivity within business offices.
For temperature, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends temperatures between 75 to 80.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and 68.5 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.
Humidity can be discomforting and even hazardous to “built environment” occupants, whether it is extremely low or too high. Typical comfortable humidity ranges from 40% to 60% relative humidity.
Proper HVAC system operation and air distribution ensure that occupants never experience unwanted airflow.
HVAC Devices and Best Practices
Optimizing air quality is a key method for slowing the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. There are several aspects involved in maintaining best practices for air conditioning systems.
Ventilation systems should have sensors for polluting agents such as carbon dioxide. Technicians monitor the ventilation rate to ensure that the air conditioner continues to provide proper cooling rates.
Filtration systems that meet or exceed the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 13 are effective at capturing and filtering out smaller air particles. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are highly efficient and capture hazardous bacteria and viruses, according to Carrier.
HVAC systems can improve air quality and pollutant-removal through technologies such as ionization, active carbon, UV lights and plasma.
To optimize air distribution, you should place the air conditioner’s air outlet where it can create effective airflow and does not blow directly into the BE’s occupied space. You should also place the outlet where the air can travel sufficiently before it makes its way to the occupied space.
HVAC and COVID-19 Airborne Spread
COVID-19 poses a serious problem for people around the world, as it has three major transmission paths that can create new infections over time. Occupant density, human contact with inanimate objects and social interaction levels can all impact how COVID-19 spreads through a population. HVAC professionals are important for reducing the virus’s impact in BEs, as these professionals can maintain airline filtration. Generally, a healthier, well-ventilated work environment with sufficient outdoor air circulation can help lower the spread of COVID-19, according to the CDC.
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We at Christian Heating & Air Conditioning are your dedicated HVAC professionals to keeping your home or business safe from the spread of airborne viruses. Contact us to discuss equipping your home or office with the right devices to slow the spread of COVID-19 within your home or residence.