In times of extreme health risk such as the current pandemic, it’s important to have a good understanding of how outdoor air ventilation systems can reduce the spread of pathogens within the built environment.
Airxchange, Inc., a global provider of innovative energy recovery ventilation (ERV) products, released a white paper to address the best practices for energy recovery and understanding how recirculated air works to alleviate concerns for operating ERVs during pandemics.
“In well-designed and maintained commercial buildings, energy recovery ventilators should remain operating and are essential to maintain ventilation rates.” – Richard Taft, Senior Vice President of Sales.
There are concerns that occupants are more susceptible to the exposure of infections with ventilation of outside air through ERV devices.
“Airxchange cautions operators that bypassing or disabling ERV systems without a complete understanding of the system will likely result in unintended consequences such as reduced outdoor ventilation rates or out-of-control indoor humidity conditions which may themselves favor the spread of viruses.” – Randall Steele, President/CEO of Airxchange.
ASHRAE data confirms an effective HVAC system best reduces the likelihood of infection by bacteria/viruses by providing the maximum number of air changes and maintaining space humidity between 40% and 60%., ASHRAE Handbook.
Since the primary function of ERVs including energy wheels is to support increased outdoor airflow and space humidity control, and since many systems rely on this recovery to achieve the heating/air conditioning capacity required, turning off the recovery wheels would likely cause more risk to the building occupants than would be avoided.
For more information, visit www.airxchange.com