COVID-19 has many people worried. It’s hard to track, trace and understand. But, we do know that there are ways to improve your indoor air quality right now – where work/home may have become one for many of us.
If only it was as easy as putting a light in a duct and all our problems are solved. As with most things it is never that easy. To adequately provide proper indoor air quality it is important to have a an efficient ventilation system that filters the air.
The best air is the outside air, unfortunately, the outside air is only at the right temperature for us to be comfortable a limited time of the year. We build enclosures for us to hunker down in and be protected by the elements and the air becomes stale. The level of contaminants builds up in these enclosures and we begin to feel the effects. What can we do?
The simple, filtration is the best source of reducing contaminants in the air, are your filters clean? Keeping the air moving through the filter is important, run the fan continuously when space is occupied. For your home run it during the day and if it is annoying for sleep to turn it off at night.
Increasing the efficiency of the filter, the more efficient the smaller the particle that can pass, a MERV 13 filter is adequate to filter must viruses and bacteria, going further a HEPA filter can filter up to 99.9 % of particles. Increasing the filter efficiency isn’t just as easy as putting them in a better filter. A better filter is more restrictive which requires more fan energy to push air through. A clean filter is easier to push than a clogged filter, if you are retrofitting a higher efficiency filter into an existing system you may need to change it more often to keep the system running optimally. Have your HVAC professional take pressure drop reading across you return air and supply air ducting to determine how much power your system can handle, don’t be talked into just installing a “special” light.
Going even further a dedicated outside air system can bring your indoor air quality to the highest level and reduce indoor contaminants. These systems can reduce the energy cost of bringing in outside air at higher than the recommended minimums. Higher ventilation rates reduce indoor contaminants and reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses.
We are in a new world and our ways of thinking about indoor quality will change. We are social beings and we will end up interacting with each other again in enclosed spaces, our buildings will need to provide us with air that does no harm.
At DMA, we believe that you can optimize indoor air quality (IAQ) to help reduce suffering from any type of flu or infection. We’re happy to make recommendations to improve air quality in your shared spaces.