Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our world has been turned upside down by the effects of COVID-19 Virus pandemic—as one world moves into a new era, a new culture, and a new way of doing business Calvert Mechanical remains available. I am the HVAC service Manager at Calvert Mechanical Solutions; I want to reassure you that Calvert is here to service all of your Mechanical needs. Our highest priority is the safety of our clients and service technicians while we continue to address your HVAC, your electricity, and your plumbing service needs. Our service vehicles are stocked and equipped with supplies to maintain sanitary standards while we service your building. Our team of talented technicians have been equipped with gloves, masks, protective clothing, and proven disinfectants against the COVID-19 Virus.

Many resources have become available regarding the management of HVAC systems during a pandemic. I continue to stay abreast of any new information that will further assist our team in servicing our clients and to help prevent the spread of the virus. The following recommendation was posted by ASHRAE  on March 24, 2020.

“Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

For those buildings that remain open, in addition to the policies described above, non-HVAC actions include:

  • Increase disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.
  • Install more hand sanitation dispensers, assuming they can be procured.
  • Supervise or shut down food preparation and warming areas, including the office pantry and coffee station.
  • Close or post warning signs at water fountains in favor of bottle filling stations and sinks, or even better, encourage employees to bring their water from home.

 Once the basics above are covered, a few actions related to HVAC systems are suggested, in case some spread of the virus can be affected:

  • Increase outdoor air ventilation (use caution in highly polluted areas); with a lower population in the building, this increases the effective dilution ventilation per person.
    • Disable demand-controlled ventilation (DCV).
    • Further open minimum outdoor air dampers, as high as 100%, thus eliminating recirculation (in the mild weather season, this need not affect thermal comfort or humidity, but clearly becomes more difficult in extreme weather).
  • Improve central air filtration to the MERV-13 or the highest compatible with the filter rack, and seal edges of the filter to limit bypass.
  • Keep systems running longer hours, if possible 24/7, to enhance the two actions above.
  • Consider portable room air cleaners with HEPA filters.
  • Consider UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation), protecting occupants from radiation, particularly in high-risk spaces such as waiting rooms, prisons and shelters.

Calvert Mechanical is available to assist with these services and much more. We recommend your air filters are replaced and that you begin using a high-quality pleated filter if you are not already. Most air handlers are not able to handle the MERV-13 filters. If your unit is not able to handle the MERV-13 we will replace your current filter with a high-quality filter with which our proven disinfectant has been applied. We will also clean your indoor air coils and apply our special DDS-164 disinfectant. Another recommendation listed in the article is to make sure you get as much fresh air into the building as possible. ASHREAE is recommending opening the outside air dampers to one hundred percent; this action will increase the dilution of the air and help purge the building of toxins and communicable agents. During this purge, energy consumption will increase greatly and may cause some discomfort. Calvert Mechanical is here to help you with these adjustments to your system. Many buildings are not equipped with windows that will open, which makes it important to adjust your fresh air dampers.

Bryant Gorrell is the HVAC Service Manager at Calvert Mechanical Solutions. Calvert Mechanical is an ethical, safe, and family-oriented company, that offers our employees the opportunity to work amongst experienced and talented professionals who believe in the value of hard work to provide an exceptional product as a team. We listen to our clients’ needs and carefully provide specifically tailored solutions 24-7 to get the job done right before you need it.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 14th, 2020 at 5:52 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.