With Ontario continuing its reopening strategy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are inviting their employees back into their offices. Although many welcome this development as a return to “normalcy”, many people are hesitant to go back.
They cite several reasons for their reluctance, including social anxiety after being isolated and preference for their home-based routines. However, top of mind with many people is the fear of infection.
Commercial property managers can help alleviate these fears by ensuring they provide optimal indoor air quality (IAQ). Top-level IAQ can be accomplished by reducing the contaminants that can spread indoors through their HVAC system.
You can help enhance the IAQ in your commercial property with these five strategies:
- Maintain Optimum Temperature And Humidity Levels: Fungi, mould, and other contaminants thrive in spaces where the temperature and humidity levels aren’t adequately controlled. These pathogens can get into the indoor air, affecting the Indoor Air Quality for everyone inside. If you’re not sure which temperature and humidity levels are best for your building, ask an HVAC professional for their best advice.
- Use High-Grade Filters: Air filters are your best defense against airborne pathogens entering the indoor space. Many commercial properties still use MERV-8 filters, which won’t give you as much protection as MERV-13 filters that can trap up to 85 percent of particles from 1.0 to 3.0 microns in size. Your current HVAC system might not have the proper capacity to upgrade to a higher MERV filter, so check with your HVAC technician. Also, regardless of the type of filter you use, you can improve their effectiveness by treating them with antimicrobial coatings that kill dangerous microbes on contact.
- Optimize Ventilation To Improve Indoor Air Quality: Increasing ventilation will bring in more clean outside air to replace the stale indoor air more often. You can schedule ventilation, so it increases during high occupancy times. You can ensure that indoor and outdoor air never mixes by installing heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) or energy recovery ventilators (ERVs). These units also offer better humidity control and improved energy efficiency. Ask your HVAC technician which type of unit is best for your needs.
- Have Your System Inspected Before Opening: Your HVAC air ducts, equipment, boilers, chillers, and more can be fertile territory for mold and other harmful elements. Be sure to have your entire system inspected and sanitized before you fully reopen your building to keep the indoor air as fresh and clean as possible once people start to return.
- Invest In Air Purifiers: Install commercial-grade HEPA air purifiers to your HVAC system that neutralizes bacteria, viruses, and harmful contaminants that can enter the indoor air space. UV lights installed in your ductwork and on system components have also proven effective at killing airborne pathogens.
Taking these steps can result in peace of mind for your tenants, as well as better productivity, fewer sick days, and one less reason to fear returning to the office.
Book Your HVAC Maintenance Visit Today
The most crucial step in maintaining high Indoor Air Quality, improving your energy efficiency, and extending the life of your equipment is to have your HVAC system regularly maintained by qualified HVAC technicians.
Springbank Mechanical Systems makes HVAC efficiency easy with cost-effective maintenance programs designed for your specific needs.
Our maintenance programs cover everything you need to ensure reliable system performance and the best air quality possible for your building occupants. Our fully qualified technicians specialize in maintaining, servicing, or replacing all brands and types of commercial HVAC equipment, including:
- Rooftop units
- Water-cooled heat pumps
- Cooling towers
- Hot water boilers
- Circulating pumps
- Steam humidifiers
- Make-up air units
- And much more
Your customized HVAC maintenance plan includes these essential services to keep your system operating at peak efficiency throughout the year:
- A full annual inspection of hot water or steam boilers, including all relief and make-up water valves
- Regular cleaning of cooling towers or closed-circuit coolers to prevent mineral buildup and increase system efficiency
- Regular cleaning of steam humidifiers to remove mineral deposits
- Replacement of the steam-generating cylinders
- Complete scheduled inspection of water-cooled heat pumps, with replacement, if necessary
Our team will also provide exceptional customer service, ensuring that all of your questions are answered and your concerns addressed. We do everything we can to help your HVAC run with maximum cost and energy efficiency while maintaining a high level of Indoor Air Quality.
As always, call us anytime to discuss how Springbank makes commercial HVAC maintenance easier.
Gregg Little, Paul DeThomasis, and Hugo Lopes are co-owners of Springbank Mechanical Systems. You can reach them at 905-569-8990 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.