Company, Preventative Maintenance, Safety, Uncategorized, Ventilation

Indoor Air Quality, HVAC and COVID-19

11.20.20

The weather has turned colder in the Midwest, people are staying indoors, and COVID-19 numbers continue to rise. While some businesses can survive with their employees working remotely, many cannot. If your business remains open, you may wonder if there are ways your HVAC system could slow the spread of COVID 19. It's important to note, changes to your ventilation system alone will not stop the spread of the corona virus; these are guidelines that along with other precautions (handwashing, masks, social distancing, etc.), can help lower the number of people infected.

The experts at Quality Refrigeration can look at your current system and let you know if there are areas for improvement. These are suggestions, not requirements. Please refer to the Minnesota Department of Health website for more information.

Ventilation and Air Circulation

  • Consider your entire space when addressing the issue of ventilation and airflow in your workspace. Make sure there are no areas that are blocked off from the overall HVAC system, even if you are operating at a reduced capacity.
  • Smooth, predictable air flow is imperative. Stagnant air leaves airborne particles nowhere to go but float in the air. Turbulent air moves particles around in an unpredictable way, meaning harmful particles can hang around for extended periods of time without being removed from the room.
  • Bring in fresh air as much as possible. Open windows and doors when weather and safety permits.
  • Clean your ductwork and change filters regularly. This ensures the air flows freely and doesn't get trapped due to clogs. Use HVAC filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 13 or higher.
  • If possible, run restroom fans continuously.

Commercial Air Filtration

While commercial air filtration isn't a solution on its own, it is certainly part of your overall risk mitigation. In order for this to be effective, ensure your filters are installed properly and changed or cleaned regularly. Choose filters with a high MERV rating in order to filter out the smallest possible particles and aerosols in the air. It's important to note, the higher MERV rated filters let less air through. If you have an older system that already has a hard time keeping up with your space, these filters may exacerbate the situation. Talk with one of our expert technicians for more information about your specific system.

Portable Air Cleaners

These are a good option to supplement your HVAC system's ventilation and filtration. Use in areas where proper ventilation is difficult or not possible to achieve. Be mindful of directing airflow away from people so it doesn't blow directly from one person to another.

Don't Go It Alone

Get in touch today to connect with our knowledgeable and friendly staff. We can help identify possible ways your HVAC system could slow the spread of COVID-19 in your workspace.