As we continue to reopen our buildings after the period of reduced occupancy or inactivity imposed by COVID, what considerations should we be taking into account in regards to the building HVAC?
Regular maintenance is still of utmost importance, and a robust Spring/Summer startup should be taking place now to ensure equipment is ready for the summer and the potential increased occupancy as compared to the past 2 summers.
Increased ventilation and filtration (MERV13 filters) have been the main topics of conversation during COVID on how to use HVAC tools to mitigate our exposure and reduce our COVID risk. But MERV13 filters also increase the strain on our HVAC systems, and now that we are reopening with increased occupancy it is even more important to check all systems to make sure we are in good shape for the coming heat.
ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers) have released guidelines on “Operational Considerations once Occupied” in response to re-opening our buildings after COVID related closures or reductions in occupancy.
Here are some of the items ASHRAE recommends considering:
- Resuming regular maintenance schedule (if applicable)
- Addressing any known supply chain issues where possible
- Adjusting BMS scheduling for ventilation etc
- Adding controls to equipment where needed and possible to do so