Your building requires safety checks prior to reopening after a period of downtime. To aid you in your preparation, we compiled a list of steps that you can follow to feel confident in the cleanliness of your building.
1. Clean and sterilize all floors, counters, and even the air according to suggestions from the European Ventilation Hygiene Association. More information you can find here.
2. Prior to running your HVAC system at normal capacity again, replace existing air filters with clean filters.
a. Safety First – Before replacing dirty air filters, first be sure to wear gloves, a mask, and safety glasses. As you slowly remove the current air filters, take care not to dislodge any of the dust and debris, which can otherwise re-enter the airstream inside your building.
b. Bag Disposal – Now that you have removed the dirty air filters, place them into bags and seal these bags as further protection against the collected dust and particles harming people who are exposed to them.
c. Clean Air Filters Installation – Place clean air filters inside the HVAC unit with the air flow arrow pointing toward the blower motor. You will find this air flow arrow on the frame of your air filter.
3. Do not operate locally recirculating air conditioning equipment (If possible), such as fan-coil units and induction units. These systems have typically very low efficiency filtration which will be minimal use against small droplet nuclei.
4. Before reopening your business, ramp up your HVAC system to normal levels, allowing air to circulate for a couple of hours before people enter the building.
Importance of Air Filtration
Changing outdoor air filters is not needed per se, since outside air is unlikely to be a significant corona virus source. Filters should however be replaced according to normal maintenance schedules, to ensure normal ventilation airflow volumes and to avoid over-loading and ‘blow-through’. However, healthy buildings experts suggest replacing current air filters as part of this preparation process. In many cases, they urge businesses to upgrade their filter efficiency to capture even more small particles, helping to keep customers and employees safe from airborne particles.
Tiny virus particles generally piggyback on comparatively larger dust particles or droplets as they travel through a building. In general, virus particles tend to hitch a ride on particles and droplets in the size range of 0,3 to 1,0 microns. Fortunately, suitable combination of air filters with a rating of ePM1 or higher capture a minimum of 95% of airborne particles in this size range.
Possible filter combinations to capture at least 95% ePM1 particles:
Solution with focus on improved efficiency:
Stage 1: DriPak SX ePM2,5 65%
Stage 2: Varicel V XL ePM1 85%
# of Circulations needed: >2
Our recommended solution for maximum efficiency with less possible number of air changes:
Stage 1: DriPak NX ePM1 60%
Stage 2: BioCel V (H)XLA 95, E10 with 98% efficiency on ePM1 particles
# of Circulations needed: >1
Particle Efficiency vs. Energy Efficiency
Generally you can expect that an upgrade in particle efficiency will cause a decrease in energy efficiency. Besides translating to a higher energy bill, you could also be faced with additional wear and tear on your HVAC equipment. However, thanks to innovative filter design and media options, you can usually find a way to upgrade your particle efficiency without breaking the bank or causing undue damage to your HVAC equipment.
We’re Here to Help
AAF offers a suite of air filtration tools, such as TCO Diagnostic® and Sensor360®, to identify a solution that is tailored to your needs and circumstances. Our process starts with a complimentary facility audit, which provides you with:
- Professional analysis
- Benchmark data
- Ideas for improvement
- Standardized list of air filters by air handler unit
Contact a representative in your area to request consultancy, so you can get started on a custom air filtration upgrade.