OFFICES & WAITING ROOMS
PROBLEM: The transmission of communicable diseases via airborne pathogens, such as the SARS-CoV2 the virus that causes COVID-19, can more easily occur in offices, waiting rooms, and other common areas where people gather and frequently pass through.
SOLUTION: HealthyAir® systems with eHEPA® technology function to improve indoor air quality by reducing the concentration of airborne contaminants including viruses (such as SARS-CoV2 the virus that causes COVID-19), bacteria, mold spores, and allergens.
Offices and Common Areas
Filtration in office buildings, waiting rooms, and other common indoor areas can help mitigate long-range airborne viral transmission by removing SARSCoV- 2 from any air that is recirculated through the building. In buildings with mechanical ventilation systems, existing filters can be upgraded to filters with efficiency ratings of at least MERV 13 or the highest MERV rating the system can handle. MERV ratings, developed by ASHRAE, indicate the percentage of particles and the sizes of particles that filters can remove from air passing through them. Filters with higher MERV ratings remove higher percentages of particles and more effectively remove small particles than filters with lower MERV ratings. Filters with MERV ratings of 13 or higher are recommended for SARS-CoV-2 by ASHRAE. Filters need to be periodically replaced and inspected to make sure they are sealed and fitted properly, with no gaps or air bypass. In some cases, if the airflow distribution system is not designed to handle a higher MERV filter, air could leak around the filter edges, compromising any benefit that might have even been gained from a lower MERV filter.
Portable air cleaners with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters may be useful to reduce exposures to airborne droplets and aerosols emitted from infectious individuals in buildings. Portable air cleaners are typically most effective in smaller spaces, and care must be taken when choosing a device to ensure it is the correct size for the room where it will be used. One metric to consider is the clean air delivery rate (CADR). The CADR reflects both the amount of air that a unit can process per unit time and the particle removal efficiency of the filter. A helpful rule of thumb is that for every 250 square feet of space, a CADR of about 100 cfm is desirable. CADR is not the only factor to consider. Portable air cleaners vary in their ability to circulate air in the room, so not all devices with the same CADR rating are equivalent. Devices that provide better mixing of the indoor air can capture particles from more of the room’s airspace and are therefore preferred. Because potential viral sources could be in various locations within a room, it may be beneficial to have several units that meet the target CADR values rather than a single larger unit.