Two plus years into the COVID-19 Pandemic has taught us a lot. What have we learned? We’ve come to appreciate that SARS-CoV-2 is airborne. Many thanks to the doctors, aerosol scientists and professors who worked tirelessly to get the word out! Some that come to our mind are Professors Linsey Marr, Jose-Luis Jimenez and Kimberly Prather.
Because of the airborne nature of the virus, we understand that proper fitting masks are extremely effective at reducing the risk of transmission. Additionally, we realize that vaccines provide a high degree of protection against severe illness, hospitalization and even death. But is there anything else we can do to protect our health and stay safe?
Absolutely! Ventilation enhancements can greatly reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2. In fact, notice what the CDC said regarding the protection ventilation provides:
“SARS-CoV-2 viral particles spread between people more readily indoors than outdoors. Indoors, the concentration of viral particles is often higher than outdoors, where even a light wind can rapidly reduce concentrations. When indoors, ventilation mitigation strategies can help reduce viral particle concentration. The lower the concentration, the less likely viral particles can be inhaled into the lungs (potentially lowering the inhaled dose); contact eyes, nose, and mouth; or fall out of the air to accumulate on surfaces. Protective ventilation practices and interventions can reduce the airborne concentrations and reduce the overall viral dose to occupants.”
As stated above, ventilation mitigation strategies help reduce viral particle concentration. In view of this, what type of ventilation interventions are recommended?
Some of the following interventions are based on the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Increase the introduction of outdoor air.
- Use fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows.
- In homes and buildings where the HVAC fan operation can be controlled at the thermostat, set the fan to the “on” position instead of “auto.”
- Make sure air filters are properly sized and within their recommended service life.
- Ensure restroom exhaust fans are functional and operating at full capacity.
- Inspect and maintain exhaust ventilation systems in kitchens, cooking areas, etc.
- Use portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to enhance air cleaning.
- Generate clean-to-less-clean air movement by evaluating and repositioning as necessary, the supply louvers, exhaust air grilles, and/or damper settings.
- Use ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as a supplemental treatment to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 when options for increasing room ventilation and filtration are limited. Upper-room UVGI systems can be used to provide air cleaning within occupied spaces, and in-duct UVGI systems can help enhance air cleaning inside central ventilation systems.
- In non-residential settings, run the HVAC system at maximum outside airflow for 2 hours before and after the building is occupied.
For further information check out the CDC’s FAQs for HEPA and UVGI Air Cleaning.
How to Protect Ourselves
In summary, what can we do to protect the health of our families, students, teachers and employees? Implement ventilation strategies that reduce the transmission of airborne viruses in occupied spaces. By taking action, we can protect our health now and in the future.
At White Coat, we are ready to help with ventilation enhancement solutions for our schools and businesses. The 6-stage Air Disinfector provides six stages of filtration, which includes HEPA, UVC and activated carbon. This filtration system filters and removes 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, mold, VOCs and allergens. Additionally, our UVGI with PCO for HVAC systems is installed in the AC ducts where it sterilizes airborne viruses and bacteria. Both options are highly effective chemical free solutions.
Contact us today so we can help you get started on your ventilation solution! Call 321.795.9800 and ask us about our Try Before You Buy offer.