IAQ News

Reducing COVID-19 Exposure in Buildings

January 2021 marked the one-year anniversary of the first recorded case of COVID-19 in the U.S. Since then over 400,000 Americans have died of the disease with over 25 million reported cases. Much has been learned about the virus in the past year. For example, we now understand that a high viral load of COVID-19 exposure affects the severity of the symptoms. Not everyone who is exposed to the SARS CoV-2 virus experiences the same symptoms or severity of symptoms. We don’t have enough data yet on the long-term consequences resulting from the coronavirus. However, we do know that people at high risk suffer worse symptoms while some suffer no symptoms at all. We also know that a higher exposure leads to worse symptoms. Other factors at play are genes, age, and preexisting conditions that put certain individuals at higher risk. For all of these reasons, facilities managers must be diligent in preventing the spread of the coronavirus in their buildings.  The Dangers of a High Viral Load A high viral load, or high COVID-19 exposure, means ...
Read More
/ Building Sciences

Combined IAQ Approach Makes Buildings Healthier

In the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, healthy buildings are as important as ever. Of course, facilities managers face many challenges in improving indoor air quality to keep building occupants safe. In addition to establishing social distancing and frequent hand washing guidelines, maintaining HVAC systems is key. A focus on ventilation systems alone won’t be enough, however. It is also important to bolster their performance using a combined IAQ approach. Guidelines to Create Healthy Buildings As we have touched on before, ASHRAE provides guidelines for commercial businesses on maintaining healthy buildings. Methods for cleaning and disinfecting HVAC systems as well as monitoring and air purifying help building managers follow these guidelines. This also includes evaluating and inspecting HVAC systems to address repair and maintenance issues and having a building readiness plan. Lower energy costs also result when managers take these steps to improve building health. As you can see, there is no simple solution for creating healthy buildings. It takes a combined IAQ approach using several systems and methods. A Combined IAQ Approach The combined approach ...
Read More
/ IAQ Learning Institute

Exceeding ASHRAE Guidance for COVID-19

ASHRAE is an organization of over 55,000 professionals united in a common goal to advance the arts and sciences of HVAC and related fields. The impact of COVID-19 on the health of building occupants and the resulting economic turmoil has been great. The pandemic prompted ASHRAE to form a task force to confront these challenges. As a result, they provide reopening guidance to commercial businesses, schools, universities, and healthcare facilities. For our part at Pure Air Control Services, we offer a full list of services for exceeding ASHRAE guidance with regard to our core competencies. This includes methods for cleaning, disinfecting, and restoring HVAC systems as well as monitoring, and air purifying. Exceeding ASHRAE Guidance with Pure Air Control Services The following is a list of ASHRAE reopening guidelines along with a description of our services to help facilities managers meet and exceed them. Systems Evaluation ASHRAE advises the inspection of HVAC systems to determine where problems exist. Our HVAC Hygiene Assessment provides a visual inspection of the Air Handling Unit (AHU) including the evaporator coils, drain ...
Read More
/ IAQ Learning Institute

Better IAQ: 5 Ways to Take Control

Indoor air quality has never been more important. So, if you want better IAQ in the buildings you own or manage, you need to take control. Here are five ways to help you get better indoor air quality. 5 Steps to Better IAQ 1. Understand the Indoor Environment As the COVID-19 pandemic grew in early 2020, the science was unclear as to how this deadly virus spread. However, studies later proved that the coronavirus spread, in part, by airborne transmission. Research also pointed to the fact that airborne viruses stay suspended in the air for hours at a time. It was also confirmed that the virus can survive on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to three days. Both air airborne and surface threats of SARS-CoV-2 impact the health of building occupants. Therefore, businesses must take steps to disinfect surfaces and clean HVAC systems. Proper air filtration not only limits harmful pathogens but also allergens such as dust and pollen as well as volatile organic compounds. Removing these particulates leads to better IAQ. 2. Categorize Your ...
Read More
/ IAQ Learning Institute

Building Coronavirus Testing Reduces Potential Spread

For most of 2020, we heard about the importance of people getting tested for COVID-19. That’s still true. Testing is a critical part of fighting the spread of the coronavirus. However, new technology makes it possible to test for the presence of the coronavirus in buildings as well. Building coronavirus testing plays a critical part in reopening and operating safely. At the forefront of research for building tests is Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg. He is the director at the University of Oregon's Institute for the Health and the Built Environment. The institute extensively tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in HVAC systems at the University's hospital. They detected positive samples from the pre-filters through to supply side air dampers. This data, returned within 24 hours, gives facilities managers control over the spread of the virus. As a result, they can close buildings, schedule remediation, and start contact tracing efforts Building Coronavirus Testing Students, employees, customers visiting shops, spas, and gyms—it's near impossible to test everyone every day, but it is possible to test buildings weekly or even ...
Read More

Recent Posts

Categories

Archives

Upcoming Events

  • No events