Advertisement

Open Windows to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Air conditioning units may spread contaminated air

April 20, 2020

Facility managers preparing their buildings for the end of shelter at home orders may want to clean their air conditioning units and filters as well as consider opening up the windows. A new study published in the journal mSystems found facilities with air delivery systems should avoid recirculating indoor air as it could potentially increase the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, Newsweek reports.

The most direct way to avoid recirculating air is to simply open windows. However, as weather may prevent this action and not all commercial buildings have windows that can be opened, the next best option is to keep HVAC systems cleaned and maintained as well as air filters properly installed. HVAC systems with higher rates of air exchange may help dilute indoor contaminants, including viral particles. Separate air filtration systems may not be effective as the majority of viruses, including coronaviruses, are too small to be captured in the filter system.

The humidity of a building also may affect the spread of infections such as COVID-19. Limited data available on the novel coronavirus indicates it is active 15.9 hours on plastic surfaces at a relative humidity of 40%, compared to 2.74 hours at a relative humidity of 65%. Targeted in-room humidification could help prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, facility managers must be careful to keep humidity below 80% as that could create other problems, such as mold.

Experts in the built environment and microbiology at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon and the University of California, Davis, made the recommendations after reviewing existing studies on various germs including SARS-CoV-2, SARS, and MERS. They are hopeful their findings will help those tasked with deciding when and how to ease social distancing measures.

Learn more about how your building’s HVAC system and vents may be spreading airborne contaminants.

 

Latest Articles

How to Keep Your Workforce Engaged
September 24, 2020 Tim Poskin & Jenean Merkel Perelstein

How to Keep Your Workforce Engaged During Rapid Change

September 21, 2020 Sponsored by TTI Floor Care/Hoover

Get the Labor Savings You Need to Redeploy Resources

September 21, 2020 Sponsored by 3M Commercial Solutions Division

Two 3M Disinfectants Earn EPA COVID-19 Approval

Sponsored Articles

Hoover® Commercial MPWR™ Cordless Cleaning System
September 21, 2020 Sponsored by TTI Floor Care/Hoover

Get the Labor Savings You Need to Redeploy Resources

September 21, 2020 Sponsored by Cascades PRO

No Touch, No Germs, No Problem

September 21, 2020 Sponsored by ACS Industries Inc.

5X Faster Wax Removal Than Standard Strip Pads

Recent News

office building, office facility, work facility
September 24, 2020 CMM Daily News

The Future of Office Buildings

September 24, 2020 CMM Daily News

Hand Sanitizer Accessibility Calls for Increased Poisoning Vigilance

September 24, 2020 CMM Daily News

Hygieia Network Schedules Diversity Seminar and Awards During ISSA Show 2020