Increase Airflow OverallEvery facility is different and has unique requirements when it comes to temperature, humidity, and external airflow. If your business has windows and can withstand incoming fresh air, it’s important to allow this natural airflow as often as possible. Doing so will prevent stale air from circulating inside your facility, which may contain infected respiratory droplets. Opening windows to increase airflow is also necessary following any disinfection misting services. Of course, the summer heat, coupled with security protocols, might prevent you from keeping your windows open all the time -- but even a little fresh air can help. Facilities that do not or cannot feature windows and direct fresh air can still increase ventilation by allowing more outside air into the HVAC system itself. This will likely dilute the virus if it is present in the air.
Change Filters RegularlyThe rate at which filters should be cleaned and/or changed varies depending on the HVAC system in question, but this action must be taken to ensure that the air coming into the facility is free from harmful particles. That said, even the best HVAC filters cannot keep all microbes out, and it’s possible that the COVID-19 virus could live up to a few days on a filter. As such, those tasked with cleaning or changing HVAC filters during this pandemic should wear proper PPE (i.e. mask, gloves, eye protection, etc.) when performing these tasks.
Manage Humidity LevelsHVAC systems aren’t only designed to control internal temperature -- they are also meant to manage humidity levels. And as it turns out, humidity management might also play a role in mitigating the spread of infection. More specifically, experts recommend maintaining a humidity level between 40-80% internally. The two schools of thought regarding this range of humidity and COVID-19 transmission are:
- 1) This range is not optimal for the virus to remain airborne
- 2) This is the best range for human immune functioning