How to Reopen Your Facility Safely After Coronavirus

The Coronavirus stay-at-home orders will be lifted eventually, and you’ll be able to reopen your facility. However, that will take more than just turning a key in the lock. The Coronavirus outbreak is demonstrating that HVAC systems are key to ensuring that your facility or office building is safe.

How Does Coronavirus Spread?

The outbreak is caused by COVID-19, which is both a member of the Coronavirus family of viruses and a novel virus. Coronavirus is a new, previously unidentified virus strain, hence the designation “novel virus” even though it’s related to other viruses, such as those that cause the common cold. Because of those differences, scientists are still studying and learning about Coronavirus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Coronavirus is so infectious because a person can unknowingly spread the disease before having symptoms. Respiratory droplets from infected people can spread through coughing and sneezing. Those droplets can stay on surfaces and contaminate another person when they touch that surface and then touch their own mouth, nose or eyes. According to a study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Laboratory of Virology, Coronavirus can stay in the air for up to three hours.

How Long Does Coronavirus Stay on Surfaces?

A lot more work and detailed epidemiological studies are necessary to really understand how Coronavirus spreads, including how long it lasts on surfaces. For example, the preliminary lab findings indicate that it can last up to:

  • 3 days on plastic surfaces

  • 4 days on wood

  • 3 days on stainless steel

  • 4 hours on copper

  • 2-8 hours on aluminum

  • 5 days on other metals

Since Coronavirus could last on some surfaces longer than others, steps should be taken before your business or building reopens as a safety precaution.

5 Ways HVAC Can Help Your Business Safely Reopen After Coronavirus

For both a healthy reopening of your business and to protect air quality in your facility going forward, HVAC service can help in five ways.

  1. CLEANING & DISINFECTING COILS
  2. Dust and debris are routinely trapped in the coils, and this can contain virus materials and contaminants.

  3. THOROUGH DUCT SYSTEM CLEANING
  4. Similarly, the dust, dirt, and debris in air ducts and vents can lower air quality and carry virus material.

  5. UPGRADE TO HIGHER EFFICIENCY AIR FILTERS
  6. At the very minimum, you want a filter with a high Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV). Filters commonly have a MERV rating of 1 to 16. A better answer is High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration. HEPA filters typically have a MERV rating of 17-20. The filter’s Micro-particle Performance Rating (MPR), a standard developed by 3M to rate the capture of airborne particles smaller than 1 micron, is also important. Air Filters with a 1500-1900 rating are the best. Our experts at Donnelly Mechanical can evaluate the needs of your business and facility and recommend the best air filters available for your particular HVAC system.

  7. INTENSIVE SPACE CLEANING & DISINFECTING
  8. Thorough cleaning and disinfecting are both important before your business or facility reopens. Due to how Coronavirus functions and the fact that a person can be infected without realizing because they do not have symptoms, surfaces could be infected. When you factor in concerns about how long it lives on various materials, a thorough cleaning is highly recommended.

  9. ULTRAVIOLET / GERMICIDAL LIGHT
  10. High quality, high efficiency filters improve indoor air quality tremendously, but can only affect particles of 1 micron or larger. UV germicidal lights can not only affect smaller particles but can also destroy the DNA of submicron microbes. Adding UV lights to your HVAC system can tremendously improve air quality.

Of course, even the most rigorous system cannot guarantee to eliminate 100% of germs or irritants. However, if air quality and safety is a priority – the extra precautions are vital.

Contact us before you reopen your business or facility when the Coronavirus stay at home order ends. We strongly suggest performing any planned service as soon as possible while offices are still vacant. We are anticipating a large volume of customer requests as soon as restrictions are lifted and warmer weather arrives.

Our experts can evaluate your needs and recommend the services needed for a healthy return. Our expert commercial HVAC service technicians in New York City can handle all of your HVAC needs. Contact us today.

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