Healthy Indoor Air in a COVID-19 World
Indoor air quality is more important than ever. Our team at Comfort-Air Engineering and Primo Plumbing, Inc. is here to help keep your home or business safer and healthier.
According to research findings on the coronavirus, being indoors, close to each other, occupying the same space, and breathing the same air all increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission more than being outdoors and distanced from each other.
Whether you’re considering the impacts of indoor surroundings in residential or commercial spaces, the risk of viral transfer makes the proper operation of HVAC equipment and indoor air quality (IAQ) management even more critical.
As public indoor spaces reopen, there can be no semblance of normalcy until we keep these areas safe. The team at Comfort-Air can provide the technical expertise you need to manage IAQ concerns effectively. We’re proud to serve San Antonio, TX, and surrounding areas.
The Risk of Airborne Viral Transfer
People produce respiratory droplets when they talk, cough, sneeze, sing, or even just breathe. Exposure to such droplets from an infected person is the main route for transmission of COVID-19. Being close to an infected person in an unventilated space creates ideal conditions for the virus to spread.
Mitigating airborne transmission is one of the most critical disease-control strategies for the coronavirus pandemic.
Wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands regularly, and reducing capacity are the most effective mitigation strategies. But building managers also have a responsibility to implement air quality management strategies to reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus.
Strategies for Healthy Indoor Air
Rather than turning off ventilation systems, building managers should operate their HVAC system and maximize exhaust rates and ventilation. This helps keep indoor pollutants from accumulating.
Currently, opinions vary on the impact of changing temperature and humidity setpoints on the virus. However, keeping indoor conditions comfortable for occupants will avoid adding undue stress to those re-entering workspaces after a long hiatus.
To maximize the effectiveness of ventilation systems, building managers should:
- Maintain and regularly change HVAC air filters
- Install high-efficiency filters such as MERV 3
- Install HVAC upgrades such as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI)
Powerful filtration technologies, such as HEPA filters, may not be feasible for commercial HVAC settings. However, portable HEPA systems may work well to complement systems with limited capabilities.
Maintaining Optimal IAQ
It’s important to remember that research is still evolving. This rapidly changing situation forces managers and building owners to make tough choices. IAQ measures are not a substitute for guidelines from health authorities, such as frequent handwashing and social distances. But what won’t change are the benefits of good IAQ.
Maintaining a healthy indoor environment should remain a regular part of building operations, not just part of pandemic mitigation.
With the reality of pandemic viruses, IAQ should be a top priority. Make your building safer and healthier with IAQ solutions from Comfort-Air.
Call (210) 494-1691 for services in San Antonio, TX, and surrounding areas.