Building owners, property managers and facility managers want to ensure they provide healthy buildings that protect and even improve the wellbeing of occupants. In the past this focused primarily on interior design elements such as sound dampening, space planning, colors and furniture, as well as creating outdoor spaces. However, following the COVID-19 pandemic and the knowledge that the virus spreads from person to person primarily through the air, there is a new focus on improving indoor air quality (IAQ).
IAQ addresses unpleasant odors, harmful particles, such as allergens and dust, and especially now, airborne viruses. Studies show that poor IAQ reduces productivity and learning, and can cause headaches, fatigue, and enable airborne virus transmission. As many property managers discovered, increasing outdoor air in an effort to reduce virus spread significantly increases energy costs.
Most existing commercial building HVAC systems include particulate air filtration. Some facility managers upgraded these particulate filters to higher MERV ratings or even HEPA grade filters to catch airborne COVID pathogens. However, the fan capacity in many HVAC systems often prevents using a particulate filter effective against viruses. A more effective and efficient solution that doesn’t impact fan capacity is to install UVC direct airstream disinfection devices. Using either in-duct or in-room UVC, also referred to as germicidal (UVGI), devices can dramatically reduce the germ load in a building or room to ensure the wellbeing of occupants.