You have been subjected to months worth of social distancing, hand washing, masking and related hygiene precautions. But you should also be reminded that since the virus is primarily spread as airborne particles there are simple environmental features you can control to minimize its potential harm . While the scientists are still determining what level of “minimum effective dose” and “viral loading criteria”that actually bring on the virus’s consequences to humans, and of course factors of age, genetics and exposure duration; listed below are certain easily achievable means to help keep your indoor air quality more virus resistant:
feel the breeze?
• Open the windows and doors to increase outdoor air ventilation- this increases the airflow and helps lessen the concentration of particles in the room. Use negative pressure (such as window exhaust fans) that suck the air out of persons rooms who are sick. Even bathroom fans with the door ajar can help.
•Screens and partitions help, simple shower curtains, plexi-glass shields and related barriers help block the virus particles from one person to another.
Mechanical engineers and experts have cited a useful mini-manifesto here https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/resources
• Disable demand-controlled ventilation (DCV).
• Further open minimum outdoor air dampers, as
high as 100%, thus eliminating recirculation (in the mild
weather season, this need not affect thermal comfort or
humidity, but clearly becomes more difficult in extreme
• Improve central10 air filtration to the MERV-1311
or the highest compatible with the filter rack, and seal
edges of the filter12 to limit bypass.
• Keep systems running longer hours, if possible 24/7,
to enhance the two actions above.
• Consider portable room air cleaners with HEPA filters, like masks for your mechanical equipment.
• Consider UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation),
protecting occupants from radiation,13 particularly in
high-risk spaces such as waiting rooms, prisons and
Hepa Filters help
With some discipline, prudence and common sense we’ll get through this pandemic and be better prepared for future threats. But nothing is as effective as common sense, social distancing and a mask. So please- use it.