How to operate HVAC systems and maintain them for minimising exposure to COVID-19

How to operate HVAC systems and maintain them for minimising exposure to COVID-19

Recently, a well-known international sustainable technology for building environment is all set to develop proactive guidance for addressing the coronavirus disease concern pertaining to maintenance as well as operation of HVAC systems.

They have also developed a position document stating various important areas of the system. Besides many aspects, one of the most important areas of this position document is that all the facilities using the HVAC systems like waiting areas, shelters and healthcare facilities must try to go beyond the requirements mentioned in the document. In an over-populated country like India, it becomes imperative to be better prepared for controlling airborne diseases and infections. 

Since the minute particles can remain in the air for a long span of time, the design as well as the operation of the HVAC system. The movement of air has a direct role in the spread of disease in a variety of ways like:

  • Delivering fresh air to the occupants present within a facility
  • Sucking in contaminated air and exhausting the same to the outdoors
  • Filtering the air by diluting air available in a space with cleaner air
  • Removing out infiltrates from the air and supplying clean air in a room

There are also various strategies for addressing the transmission of airborne disease. They are:

  • Dilution and personalized ventilation
  • Source capture ventilation
  • In-room airflow regime
  • Unitary and central filtration

In light of the present situation a task force is also created by many firms in order to deploy the technical resources for addressing different challenges faced by the workers. They are also adept in offering guidelines and recommendations when the need arises to set up temporary hospitals in indoor areas, convention centre and such other places.

The people associated with the facility such as the operators, engineers and owners are also suggested to work together with specialists having proper knowledge about transmission of infection within the community. It is important to go through the public agency related guidelines thoroughly in order to understand and implement the changes for mitigating the spread of the virus.

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