With businesses nationwide embracing the "new normal" and reopening their locations, the safety and comfort of customers and employees is paramount. While there are many strategies to create a safer facility — increased sanitation, proper social distancing, etc. — there's one important area of your business you don't want to overlook: your HVAC system.
Your HVAC system contributes to critical health and safety measures such as indoor air quality and air circulation. To help businesses prepare and optimize this important part of their facilities for reopening, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has issued numerous recommendations to help businesses navigate the ongoing threat of airborne transmission of COVID-19 through HVAC systems. Let's explore some of these recommendations.
#1 Boost your filter efficiency
While most standard HVAC systems operate with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) 8 filter, ASHRAE recommends increasing your filter efficiency to 13, or the highest rating that your system will allow. The numbers speak for themselves: this simple swap significantly increases the chances that your filter will trap any particulate that can cause illness.
#2 Eliminate air bypass
Even with increased filtration, air bypass from traditional box filters can leave your building vulnerable to airborne spread of COVID-19 — which has happened before with other deadly infections. To mitigate the risk of air bypass spreading contaminated air, a continuous media filter (such as the PleatLink® filter system) is key. These types of filters are designed to eliminate air bypass by spanning the full length of your filter track continuously.
And there's more...
Filter efficiency and air bypass are important factors to address, but ASHRAE's recommendations don't stop there. See all of our tips for a safer reopening in our new infographic: 4 Steps to Safely Reopen Your Facility.