How HVAC reduces the spread of COVID-19
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We’re focused on the prevention and containment of COVID-19. Research shows that viruses are more likely to survive and be transmitted in poorly ventilated spaces.

Safety First

How HVAC can reduce the spread of COVID-19

In 2020, public health and safety came to the forefront of all our conversations. We asked each other how we can do better at keeping each other safe. As an HVAC company, our focus has been on the prevention and containment of COVID-19. Research shows that viruses are more likely to survive and be transmitted in poorly ventilated spaces.

For over 100 years, Peterson Mechanical has been designing, planning, and building mechanical systems for various industries, including healthcare. Our extensive experience working with hospitals and virus testing facilities means we have the knowledge and understanding to provide HVAC modifications and other preventative strategies to minimize virus spread within commercial buildings.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions regarding how HVAC can reduce the spread of COVID-19.

What is Peterson Mechanical doing to address the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Along with the following of CDC recommended precautions and best practices, Peterson Mechanical has been working on multiple necessary healthcare system projects to combat the virus’s spread.

Can HVAC systems spread COVID-19 in commercial buildings such as offices, stores, and schools?

While the virus is primarily transmitted through droplets from coughs or sneezes, it can linger in the air. Research shows that the coronavirus may spread through shared air in poorly ventilated areas.

What do experts recommend to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in buildings?

To reduce the amount of recirculated air that potentially carries virus particles, it is recommended to open windows to bring in more fresh air (when it is safe to do so), use fans, increase the exchange rate to allow more outdoor air into the HVAC system, upgrade air filters, and to utilize air purifiers.

What can I do to reopen my Northern California business safely?

If an HVAC system has been shut down, make sure to contact an HVAC professional to review startup guidelines, ensure that the existing system is operating properly, and determine if the HVAC and air circulation system is ready for occupancy.

Does the building’s HVAC system need to be upgraded?

Depending on the HVAC system’s age and quality, complex changes and upgrades may be necessary to reduce the spread of viruses like COVID-19. This is especially important for locations with poor ventilation and high traffic.

Is an upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system enough?

Upgrading an HVAC system is not a complete solution, but it can be part of a highly effective risk mitigation strategy that reduces exposure to virus particles.

What technology is available for improving indoor air quality?

While simple ventilation improvements like extending the hours of operation for the HVAC system, increasing frequency of filter changes, increased system cleaning, and using natural ventilation are available, there are other options available to improve health and safety.

In high-risk areas, portable HEPA filters, ultraviolet lights, ionizers can all help reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.

When should HVAC systems be used during COVID-19?

An HVAC system helps to circulate air and remove harmful contaminants. It is recommended to run an HVAC system as much as possible and 2 hours before and after occupied times to dilute the air.

If it is not in use, enhance natural ventilation by using fans and opening windows.

Why is it important to reduce the recirculation of air?

Evidence shows that the coronavirus can circulate through the air in enclosed spaces. If the weather and air quality permits, increasing the use of outdoor air and turning on the HVAC system can remove virus particles while maintaining healthy, comfortable levels for the occupants.

Where can commercial building managers get more information about COVID-19 and ventilation?

For the most up-to-date information and recommendations on reducing the risk of COVID-19, visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Experts (ASHRAE).

Keep your occupants safe with energy-efficient and virus resilient upgrades. Consult with an HVAC professional at Peterson Mechanical on how to improve the ventilation and filtration for your building type, size, style, and needs.