In early 2020, the coronavirus pandemic shook the world. This virus is more contagious than a typical virus, and to date, there is no vaccination. MTI will look at your facility and make recommendations on how to make it less COVID-19 friendly. Our engineers use their vast experience levels, along with sound research published by ASHRAE, CDC, WHO, and others to prepare a detailed analysis of your facility’s HVAC system as is pertains to controlling the spread of airborne pathogens. We will look at:
- BAS System Settings
- Temperature and Humidity
- Amount of outside air
- Airflow patterns
- Building pressurization
- Cleanliness of ductwork
- Amount of UV light
Aerosol Transmission of COVID-19
The coronavirus is transmitted in several ways, including through respiratory droplets when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes. The possible aerosol transmission of COVID-19 is a concern for schools, stores, offices, manufacturing, healthcare, and other public buildings. An effective ventilation system helps to maintain a healthy, safe, and COVID-unfriendly environment.
“Transmission of SARs-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems can reduce airborne exposure”Statement issued by the ASHRAE Environmental Health Committee, Epidemic Task Force on April 14, 2020
Optimize Your Air Distribution Systems
The Centers for Disease Control and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) reports that changes to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems can reduce airborne exposures to infectious aerosols. Air handling systems should be optimized, ensuring appropriate directionality, filtration, and exchange rate. Additionally, the CDC recommends ventilation systems should be properly installed and up-to-date on their maintenance.
MTI Performs Coronavirus Site Visits
Mechanical Technologies Inc. technicians can identify ways to reduce the aerosol transmission of COVID-19 in your facility. Technicians make site visits and recommend paths to a safer environment. To make a building as COVID-unfriendly as possible, technicians evaluate:
Building Automation System (BAS) Settings
Many strategies utilized by BAS Systems can encourage the growth of airborne pathogens. We look at your BAS System settings and recommend strategies that introduce more outside air into your building
Traditional filters are not fine enough to capture airborne contaminants and hospital grade filters (called HEPA filters) traditionally cannot be used with standard fan systems. We analyze your filters and recommend appropriate filters.
Temperature and Humidity
The half-life of all living organisms is temperature and humidity dependent. We look at building temperatures and recommend changes to keep them out of the “COVID sweet-spot”
Amount of outside air
The amount of outside air introduced into a building is a key factor in controlling the growth of mold and Viruses. We make recommendations on how to cost effectively add more outside air to your building
Excessive flow from a diffuser can distribute the aerosol portion of a sneeze much farther than the typical 3-6 foot range. We spot check your diffusers and note any abnormalities (Called moisture carry-over)
It is important to have a positively pressurized building in order for the fans, filters, and UV lights to do their job. Negatively pressurized buildings can have unfiltered, untreated air introduced directly to its occupants.
Cleanliness of ductwork
Dirty ductwork is a breeding ground for viruses, influenza, and mold. We look at your ductwork and make recommendations of duct cleaning companies when appropriate.
Amount of UV light
Ultra-violet light has been proven to kill viruses, mold, and influenza by disrupting their DNA which doesn’t allow them to replicate. There are 2 main sources of Ultra-violet light:
- Natural sunlight contains UV-A and UV-B waves which have been proven to be 60% effective in killing airborne contaminants.
- Ultra-Violet lighting systems utilize UV-C waves that are 99.8% effective in killing airborne pathogens.
We will look at your building’s potential for bringing in more natural sunlight as well as the potential for installing UV-C lighting. Following the site visit, facility managers receive a detailed report of MTI’s findings, plus recommendations for improvements.
Schedule a Site Visit
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems help to save lives by preventing the aerosol transmission of the coronavirus. Essentially, indoor air quality contributes to maintaining a COVID-unfriendly facility. Contact us today to arrange a site visit.