It isn’t an overstatement to say that businesses are entering into unchartered territory thanks to the sheer devastation that COVID-19 has caused on the world. As some countries manage to flatten the curve of infection and slowly lift restrictions, it’s not about going back to the way things were before, it’s about finding that new normal.
The new normal is an atmosphere in which health and safety is kept front and centre, ensuring employees and clients/customers are safe and the odds are infection occurring and spreading on the premises is kept as low as possible. And while there are many steps your business can take to ensure the health and safety of all, one you may not have thought of is the ventilation system.
So, let’s take a closer look at how a ventilation system can help to combat COVID-19, as it could be well worth your attention.
A Big Part of Cutting Down Transmission – Bringing in Fresh Air
You may have come across the numerous reports at this point that discuss how much easier transmission of COVID-19 is indoors vs. an outdoor setting. When you think about it, the reasoning is very simple. Those droplets that a person expels when they cough or sneeze don’t really get a chance to settle or linger outdoors. Wind disperses them and the air is constantly circulating.
Then you think about an indoor office environment where the air isn’t moving, there is no circulation happening, and it’s easy to see how the transmission odds increase. Those same droplets have the ability to settle on surfaces and linger.
So, the simple solution is to look for a way to circulate the air indoors, taking that stale air and bringing in fresh air from the outdoors. The more often it is being circulated, the better it is for transmission rates.
How to Bring in Air from the Outdoors?
So, how can you improve the air circulation and ensure that fresh air is coming in? The simplest solution is to open the windows, but unfortunately not all office buildings feature windows that can be opened. Many are just fixed in place and meant to allow for natural light and nothing else. This is when it may be time to examine the building’s ventilation system.
As BPC Ventilation points out, this could be the ideal time to look into heat recovery systems. These commercial grade MVHR units and systems work to constantly re-circulate the air by bringing the fresh air indoors and venting out the stale air.
Now, this isn’t the sole purpose of these systems, it’s just one of the features they offer. This type of system is also able to reduce energy bills since it takes less energy to keep a room at its ambient temperature. So, you benefit from better air quality and cheaper energy bills.
Keep in mind that recirculating the air isn’t enough; the system should exchange that stale air for fresh outdoor air, as these heat recovery systems do. There have even been studies that show the circulation of fresh air can help to minimise outbreaks and transmission of influenza by up to 50%, so you can apply that same theory to COVID-19.
Creating a Space Employees Feel Safe and Comfortable In
At the end of the day, as a business owner, it’s going to be up to you to create an office space that employees feel safe and comfortable working in. During this pandemic that requires all kinds of measures be put in place, improving the building’s ventilation should definitely sit high on the list.