CDC's Multi-Layered Approach To Building Ventilation For COVID-19 Mitigation

Ventilation mitigation strategies help to offset the absence of natural wind and reduce the concentration of viral particles in the indoor air.

With many metropolitan areas reaching further stages of reopening alongside the increase in vaccinations, indoor facilities are beginning to reopen their doors to larger audiences. Despite vaccinations and mask mandates, the CDC still recommends the importance of increasing mitigation strategies of SARS-CoV-2 to prevent a dramatic spike in cases. Therefore, the CDC has issued new guidelines on the ventilation of buildings as a solution for COVID-19 exposure mitigation.

According to the CDC “when indoors, ventilation mitigation strategies help to offset the absence of natural outdoor air and reduce the concentration of viral particles in indoor air.” Studies have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 viral particles rapidly spread in indoor environments. Termed as “aerosol” transmission, this form of transmission can easily spread droplets small enough to enter our lungs and respiratory system. Infectious pathogens such as the common flu, legionnaires, and SARS-CoV-2 are often spread through “aerosol” transmission.

To reduce “aerosol” transmission, the CDC recommends the following considerations to improve ventilation:

1) Maintain and upgrade HVAC systems in facilities to improve ventilation and air purity:

  • HVAC systems should be routinely maintained to ensure outdoor air dampers should be opened “beyond minimum settings to reduce HVAC air recirculation.”
  • Conduct air quality tests to ensure ventilation systems properly operate and “provide acceptable indoor air quality” for each space.
  • HVAC central air filtration schould be increased to the highest possible MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) Rated filters. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) recommends at minimum MERV 13 filters should be used to efficiently capture airborne viral particles.

2) Portable high-efficiency particulate air cleaners (air purifiers) should be installed to “help enhance air cleaning especially in higher risk areas.”

  • Air purifiers are recommended to have at least a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter. HEPA Filters commonly remove up to 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. HEPA Filters have a higher particulate capture efficiency than MERV 16 Filters (MERV 16 is the highest rating for HVAC filters).

3) Ultraviolet light or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) may be used to “inactivate SARS-CoV-2 particles.”

  • UV-C, UVGI, & PCO (Photocatalytic Oxidation Technology) may also be featured inside portable air purifiers or as devices installed in preexisting HVAC systems.

Through the implementation of increased ventilation businesses, organizations, and schools will be able to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2. At Sanalife we are here to help implement these changes to the ventilation of your facilities. With our custom indoor air quality solutions, we can analyze your unique spaces from every angle and deliver high-quality portal air purifier solutions on any budget. Using advanced multi-stage air filtration technologies, Sanalife combines industry-leading technologies to deliver real-time air protection.

Sanalife is here to help you restore trust with clean air. Learn more today by contacting our team of indoor air quality specialists. Call: 617-865-2665 or email info@sanalifewellness.com

Resources:

Ventilation in Buildings, CDC

Science Brief: SARS-CoV-2 and Potential Airborne Transmission, CDC

Bacteria and Viruses, American Lung Association

Filtration & Disinfection, ASHRAE

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