Ventilation Systems in a Post-COVID World
By: JADE Learning | Sep 09, 2020
Sometimes it takes a dramatic event to institute real change. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, building ventilation systems could potentially be forever changed. Here, we attempt to predict how ventilation systems might evolve in the aftermath of the coronavirus and what those changes will mean for HVAC professionals.
What Does COVID-19 Mean for HVAC Systems?
1. More use of outside air
Keeping a door or window cracked open can play a significant role in curtailing the spread of airborne viruses like that of COVID-19. We may see future ventilation systems that either work in conjunction with open-air rooms or utilize more outside air and less recycling of indoor air.
2. Increased ventilation rates
The risk of virus transmission remains lower in environments with high ventilation rates in relation to the number of people exposed to the air. The COVID-19 pandemic may encourage the implementation of increased ratios of ventilation to occupants.
3. Higher efficiency filters
HEPA filters, like those used on airplanes, capture viruses more effectively and may be encouraged for higher use in buildings with centralized ventilation or climate controlled systems.
4. Shifting standards
Some studies show that viruses of this nature thrive in environments that are low in temperature and humidity. The pandemic may inspire ventilation systems with new norms for these settings. Cold temperature settings might not be as cold, and low humidity settings could be even lower.
5. Increased maintenance
Ventilation systems that are not well maintained can introduce and recycle contaminated air or produce the environmental conditions in which viruses thrive. Future ventilation systems may require more frequent inspection, service, and maintenance than today’s systems.
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