Air conditioning and ventilation during the Coronavirus pandemic

By now, it’s widely accepted that one of the main ways in which viruses such as Coronaviruses are spread is through exposure to tiny particles that remain suspended in the air and on surfaces for hours.

These particles, or aerosols, are created by breathing, talking, coughing, and sneezing. Most of the larger droplets emitted fall on surfaces within 1-2m from the source, but a few evaporate and become airborne aerosols.

Unlike hard surfaces, the air around you is often neglected from cleaning rotas, meaning that aerosols can stay active for hours. This means that the management of indoor air quality is even more critical for infection control and the safety of you, your staff, and your customers.

The right HVAC system can help eliminate Coronavirus aerosols

The design and operation of HVAC systems can have a huge impact on the spread of infectious aerosols. Some of the latest advice from experts involves flushing rooms with lots of outside air to dilute airborne concentrations of the virus.

In general, the more people you have in an indoor space, the greater the need for proper ventilation.

However, pumping in outside air might not be possible in all buildings (or during the height of winter) and for all ventilation systems, which is why many specialists are looking to ultraviolet light technology as a means of limiting the transmission of Coronaviruses, bacteria, and mould.

UV light is nature’s secret weapon against viruses, diseases, and other pathogens. The UV light penetrates the cell wall of viruses and destroys it from the inside, making it an effective disinfection solution.

This technology can be used where outdoor air is not possible, as UV light can produce high-quality indoor air conditions comparable to pristine outdoor air environments.

In air conditioning units, UV lamps’ disinfection properties are used to prevent mould, viruses, and bacteria from forming or gathering on the cool, moist surfaces of cooling coils and drain pans. Aerosols that may be in the air can be circulated through the air conditioning unit, where the UV technology destroys them.

In fact, BSG technology has been shown to destroy 99.999% of respiratory flu-type viruses in less than 0.44 seconds in air.

BSG’s UV light HVAC products can often be retroactively fitted to your current HVAC systems, which reduces the cost of creating safe, clean air in your enclosed spaces.

How can you tell if your ventilation is effective?

We now know that proper ventilation and the right HVAC technology is vital to public health, particularly at such an unprecedented time. Therefore, knowing your ventilation is effective is incredibly important to the health of your staff and your customers.

Public health officials suggest:

  • Attaching small pieces of ribbon or tissue paper to your vents or air conditioning units so that you can see at a glance that they are on and operational
  • Tracking ventilation paths with a feather or piece of tissue paper to ensure that proper ventilation is reaching the whole of the enclosed space
  • Adding mobile air purifiers in areas where fresh air ventilation cannot be increased
  • Inspecting and maintain local exhaust ventilation in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms
  • Making sure that ventilation is in balance throughout enclosed spaces so potentially contaminated air is not drawn in from other areas
  • Keeping windows and other sources of natural ventilation open where possible

In conclusion

UV light can provide a really effective solution to the threat of airborne viruses. In fact, the great thing about UV technology is that it never becomes redundant, even with potential new vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Installation of UV technology means that you have years of protection against more familiar viruses, such as influenza and measles, which helps to make public spaces, offices, and transportation safer and healthier.

What’s more, it will be able to handle any further pandemics, keeping you, your staff, and your customers safe.

To find out more about how BSG technology can help improve your air quality, please get in touch today.

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