THE HVAC SYSTEM AND COVID-19
With the current circumstances of the spread of a pandemic creating growing concern, ASHRAE (The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) has released guidance on managing the spread of COVID-19 regarding the maintenance and operation of HVAC systems in buildings. The document explains that the filtration and ventilation of HVAC systems can reduce risk of virus transmission through the air. Although, spaces that are unconditioned may cause thermal stress which then can become life-threatening to those who are vulnerable and may also lower a possible resistance to the virus.
So far, ASHRAE’s work which is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization has been crucial in aiding clinics and hospitals to endure the volume of COVID-19 cases. It’s also contributing to the safety of people in their own homes and offices.
The reopening of buildings that have been operating at low-capacity or that have been closed because of the pandemic might rely on the safe operation of their HVAC systems as a critical component as well as family's at home. Looking forward, more and more people are going to be taking into consideration the building’s or dwelling's HVAC system for virus and pandemic conditions before feeling comfortable about entering or using the space. This provides opportunities for HVAC improvements and optimization, however, it may still be unlikely that the current pandemic will fully alter how HVAC is maintained, operated, and installed.