The World Health Organization has long held that the coronavirus is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets that, once expelled by infected people in coughs and sneezes, fall quickly to the floor. However, many scientists have been saying for months, “the virus lingers in the air indoors—infecting those nearby.” This makes HVAC systems an important component in the attempt to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread.
ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers) has issued the following position statement: “Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air.” And, in accordance, the organization has made the following recommendations for the mitigation and control of airborne exposures:
- Increase ventilation rates
- Upgrade air filters to MERV 13
- Increase system run times
- Consider portable room air cleaners with HEPA filters
- Consider the addition of UV lighting
** Not a formal recommendation by ASHRAE at this point, but certainly gaining traction is to consider Needle Point Bipolar Ionization.