As many businesses across the country return to their workplaces, our team is here to prepare you and your building. Both ASHRAE and the CDC have given many great recommendations on how to clean and maintain your buildings. However, many of these recommendations are costly and could skyrocket energy costs. Our team at E3M Solutions is here to help you keep your facility & people safe as well as energy efficient.
Today we’ll be diving into the ASHRAE and CDC recommendations for HVAC and how they’ll affect your building and your people. The recommendations below are intended to help slow the spread of the virus. By implementing some of these initiatives you’ll be able to continue running operations while keeping your employees’ health and safety at the forefront.
With the temperatures beginning to warm up, now is a great time to increase the amount of fresh air and air turn over within your space. This can decrease bacteria and other particles in the air, while improving the overall facility air quality. However, this can also introduce a source of unwanted items like dust, pollen, odors, etc. that are normally only present outdoors.
By running the system for longer hours or even continuously, air movement in the space is increased. This also extends the amount of time for air travel throughout filters and other systems for cleaning, ensuring dust and other particles do not begin to build up.
Studies and lab tests have shown that the optimal humidity for the lower of bacteria growth and virus life is between 40% – 60%. Humidity levels outside of this continuum are breeding grounds for viruses & bacteria, allowing them to live on surfaces for longer periods of time.
Be mindful of the different types of UV lighting. If you’re going to install these fixtures, make sure they specifically call out UV-G lighting for virus mitigation. Additionally, if general UVG lighting is implemented, it should be done during un-occupied times to limit staff exposure to the UV lighting.
This can help to negatively affect virus & bacteria while also having other benefits to reduce mold, odors, dust and other particles in an air stream.
ASHRAE recommends increasing to MERV 13 or higher as filters with a higher MERV rating can capture more particles, viruses and bacteria. However, make sure you know your system’s capacity before increasing. If your system isn’t compatible with a higher filtration system, it could be costly.
Join us for part two, coming soon, where we will discuss how to avoid pitfalls when bringing your facility back online. As facilities begin running on non-standard business hours, we’ll help you find the best solutions for your building.
We’re excited to help guide you through your journey of bringing your building back online! If you have any questions or need help starting, give us a call! Our team is available for site visits, engineering & energy consulting, and assessments as you work to bring your space back online. We are taking all the necessary precautions to keep your team and our team healthy during this time.