Ventilation and indoor air quality around COVID-19
With expert help from Vipac’s ventilation specialists, you’ll be able to create and maintain a healthy environment for learning, leisure and work, ensuring occupant comfort and productivity, as well as reducing air contaminants, odours, condensation, and the risk of COVID-19 and other airborne diseases.
Good indoor air management leads to healthy ventilation in enclosed areas. The good news is that in most cases, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel by getting new HVAC systems for existing buildings. Less costly interventions, such as ventilation system upgrades or improvements, can get us to be COVID-safe by ensuring the delivery of even more clean and fresh air indoors.
Buildings are generally designed to recirculate air supply. The downside is that occupants end up breathing in the same stale air, which carries a build-up of carbon dioxide (CO2), moisture, odours, contaminants and viruses that lead to COVID-19 and other airborne diseases.
With indoor air management and good ventilation solutions, you’ll have better control of the airflow in your building, as well as enjoy a consistent supply of clean and fresh air indoors, with benefits such as:
Reduced indoor transmission of airborne diseases
COVID-19, the common flu, influenza, tuberculosis, measles and other airborne diseases are spread via the suspension of air droplets in enclosed areas. Poor ventilation helps accelerate the spread, but this can be managed with air control and ventilation measures. Additionally, controlled humidity will help slow down the transmission of airborne viruses.
Improved health and safety outcomes
Poor ventilation, indoor air pollution, and condensation can cause fatigue, headaches, asthma, allergies, eye irritation and other health problems. Recirculated indoor air contains unhealthy levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), harmful contaminants (such as volatile organic compounds, or VOC, derived from cosmetics, air-fresheners, permanent markers, detergents and other sources), unpleasant odours and sometimes smoke. That’s why it’s important to manage indoor airflow and ensure proper ventilation solutions are in place. Good ventilation draws in clean and fresh air while expelling impurities and reducing their impact.
Energy efficiency and lower energy bills
Having good ventilation systems means proper regulation of air, humidity and temperature — an economically sound way to achieve energy efficiency while meeting health and safety requirements.
Guided by the standards as required by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heating (AIRAH), we perform the following to improve indoor air quality and occupant comfort, while minimising the risk of airborne diseases such as COVID-19.
- Initial inspection of equipment, systems and controls to uncover any existing ventilation issues
- Determination of the minimal air exchanges per hour (ACH)
- Determination of volatile organic compounds (VOC), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), PM2.5 or PM10 particles in the air
- Identifying dead spots within buildings and other enclosed areas via the measurements of carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), air movement and air velocity
- Determination of the temperature and humidity within indoor areas
- Thorough investigation of indoor supply and exhaust airflow
- Occupant comfort analysis
- Changing the balance of supply air to extraction air indoors via different methods, until adequate airflow and acceptable occupant comfort are achieved
- Consideration of alternatives when good ventilation isn’t feasible using existing systems
- Minimising of air recirculation
- Maximising the use of outdoor air as reasonably possible (100% outdoor air is preferable)
- Consideration of natural ventilation