ASHRAE – The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers has played a large role in offering strategies to help lower the spread of the novel Coronavirus. This is not only prudent in today’s pandemic, but highly desirable at all times. Companies and offices have put off updating their HVAC systems due to high cost. But now is the time to put workers and residents’ health above price. Sutton Real Estate has added on new features to our existing systems.
Here are a few ways your commercial and residential real estate properties can address the issue.
- Outdoor Air Ventilation – Bringing more fresh air into your building can help dilute infectious diseases. Increase the percentage of outdoor air in your HVAC above the minimum levels, even operating them at 100% outdoor air when conditions allow.
- Portable air cleaners – Utilize portable room air cleaners with HEPA filters to clean during or after occupancy.
- Ultraviolet Energy – ASHRAE recommends the use of UV-C rays where applicable. These can be installed in existing HVAC equipment, ductwork, or near the ceiling in rooms. Proper care must be used to shield the UV-C rays from building personnel, as direct exposure can be harmful to the skin and eyes.
- Automated Systems – Consider updating your controls systems to be able to go into a “COVID Ready” state more easily.
- Temperature and Humidity – It is important to maintain the moisture in the air. Ensuring proper temperature and humidity control can help reduce infection rates. Attempt to keep humidity levels between 40-60%.
- Keep it On or Off? – Keep your HVAC systems running at all times if possible. Allow your ventilation and exhaust systems to run extended hours throughout the day. Bathroom exhaust fans should be left on 24/7.
Joseph J. Lewis
SIOR, Vice President, Real Estate Broker
The information contained in this article is based on data from Trane.com