How to Improve Indoor Air Quality with portable Air Purifiers? Use this Free Calculator!
May 11, 2021
COVID-19 is Updating Our Thinking on Aerosol Transmission and Indoor Air Quality
The disruptive COVID-19 epidemic has had a major transformation on all of our lives. However, this has also forced scientists to reevaluate the transmission mechanisms for respiratory viruses. The WHO and CDC have recently revised their recommendations, stating explicitly that the dominant mode of spread is via aerosols/airborne transmission.
A recent Lancet study outlined the evidence on aerosol transmission ahead of recent WHO/CDC changes. This included earlier research showing that aerosols may likely be the source of other common respiratory illnesses, where spread had previously been associated to droplets.
How improving ventilation can improve your building’s Indoor Air Quality?
One positive impact from the quarantines and social distancing of 2020/2021, especially for parents of young children like myself, was spending a year with our children without a constant stream of coughs and colds circulating through the household. The above research may show the way how improvements in ventilation and Indoor Air Quality can reduce respiratory virus spread, even after more employees return to offices, children to schools, and bars and restaurants are bustling once again.
The Harvard / CU-Boulder Air Purifier Calculator
The calculator below was generated by university researchers to aid school districts in making smarter, low-cost investments in air purifiers to improve classroom ventilation and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. We’re recreating this calculator to assist you in that decision. Note that the default values are geared towards schools/offices, which have similar ACH (air exchange rate) recommendations. Other building uses have higher ACH requirements (see this reference for additional details) – and given the above research, these recommendations may be revised further upward.
Recommended ACH is Increasing
Schools had recently been designed with a target ACH of 3, but recent scientific studies are revising this recommendation to increase to 6+. This is an active topic of current research and may see additional revisions. While portable air purifiers can improve your building’s ACH rates and are a valuable short term step, your facility may benefit from a long term investment in your HVAC systems.
For a complete analysis of your building’s ventilation and indoor air quality, including high-efficiency HVAC design recommendations to improve, reach out to us today.
Importance of Filtration
High quality filtration is important in ensuring you are removing airborne viruses from your space. The recommendation is to leverage filters iin your HVAC equipment with a minimum MERV 13 rating. Supplemental portable air purifiers should include HEPA filters for additional air filtration. One recent entrant into the market is the Carrier Opticlean