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Commercial establishments have a public responsibility to keep their indoor air quality in excellent condition. Being in excellent condition means it is devoid of indoor pollutants, including viruses and bacteria that could gravely affect a person’s health.

Commercial HVAC systems can play a huge role in reducing the transmission of airborne and infectious diseases indoors.

Commercial HVAC systems can play a huge role in reducing the transmission of airborne and infectious diseases indoors.

Circulating air within a property is influenced strongly by its Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. This means having healthy indoor air means having an efficiently working, and effectively filtering HVAC systems.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers or ASHRAE has published guidelines in helping commercial facilities limit the spread of infectious diseases through HVAC maintenance and other methods. In one of the position papers that it published, the organization mentioned about controlling airborne contagious diseases through various HVAC features and several industry techniques. It underscored that public and commercial establishments should follow maintenance guidelines to keep everyone safe whenever inside their facility.

“Infectious diseases spread by several different routes. Tuberculosis and, in some cases, influenza, the common cold, and other diseases spread by the airborne route. The spread can be accelerated or controlled by heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, for which ASHRAE is the global leader and foremost source of technical and educational information. ASHRAE will continue to support research that advances the state of knowledge in the specific techniques that control airborne infectious disease transmission through HVAC systems, including ventilation rates, airflow regimes, filtration, and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). ASHRAE’s position is that facilities of all types should follow, as a minimum, the latest practice standards and guidelines.”

Download the whole document here.

HVAC in Buildings

Facility design and maintenance website also discussed a public HVAC system’s role in controlling the spread of infectious diseases in an indoor environment. In one of their web posts, the author mentioned indoor humidification as an effective way of reducing the transmission of airborne diseases indoors.

“Approximately 58% of SARS cases were acquired from hospital exposure, so humidification of healthcare facilities would be an especially effective intervention to reduce pneumonia and death rates from this new coronavirus strain. Air humidification can be readily implemented in both private and public buildings, giving people a simple way to actively combat this fearsome virus for which there are currently no vaccines or effective preventive drug treatments. In addition to reducing the overall spread of the outbreak, this intervention also enables each of us to pro-actively take steps to protect the health of ourselves and our loved ones.”

Read more here.

HVAC industry news through also tackled several ways to reduce inadvertent the transmission of airborne and infectious diseases through a commercial HVAC system. In one of their articles, they mentioned that effective filtration could help reduce the circulation of airborne viruses and other pathogens.

“Any air cleaner that removes particles from the air has some potential to reduce exposure to coronavirus. The question lies in what efficiency of the filter is required to be effective enough to have a significant impact on how likely people are to get infected by the airborne route.”

The full article is published here.

Keeping indoor air quality safe for the public is a huge responsibility of the facility owner and his HVAC contractor.

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