With back-to-school shopping behind us and the busy retail holiday season on the horizon, retail centres and shopping malls are once again places where people will congregate in large numbers.
As welcoming as this development is, commercial property owners are cognizant of reports claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic still isn’t behind us, placing scrutiny on the air quality in their buildings. The last thing any property owner wants is shoppers or store employees to catch or spread a virus, especially in the weeks leading up to the holidays.
Commercial property managers can help stop the spread of viruses through airborne articles by optimizing their HVAC systems to provide the cleanest, most pure air possible.
Evaluate And Update Your Commercial HVAC System To Improve Air Quality
The first step to optimizing your HVAC system is to engage with a qualified commercial HVAC service provider who will visit your retail location and perform a thorough audit of your setup. The technician will be able to provide you a list of recommendations that will help your system provide fresh air to your shopping centre’s occupants while minimizing airborne pathogens.
Some of their recommendations may include:
- Installing Air Purifiers: Air purifiers are great to use within the indoor space, but there are also commercial-grade HEPA air purifiers that can be attached to your HVAC system. These units neutralize bacteria, viruses, and other harmful contaminants before they can enter the indoor air space.
- Increasing Ventilation: Breathing in stale, indoor air for hours isn’t ideal for your building’s occupants, employees, and shoppers. You can help keep the air fresher by venting in clean outdoor air more often. Modern HVAC systems allow you to automate ventilation for high occupancy periods and increase air quality.
- Upgrading Your Air Filters: Since air filters are your best defense against pathogens and contaminants entering your indoor air space, it’s essential to use the highest-performing filters available. If your retail store or indoor shopping mall use MERV-8 filters, consider upgrading to MERV-13. MERV-13 filters trap up to 85 percent of particles from 1.0 to 3.0 microns in size, helping you maintain high indoor air quality. Your HVAC technician will be able to tell you if your system has the proper capacity to upgrade to MERV-13 and what you need to do if it doesn’t.
- Using An Antimicrobial Coating: No matter which type of air filter you use in your building, treating them with an antimicrobial coating will kill dangerous microbes on contact. This will improve the effectiveness of your air filters.
- Maintaining Recommended Temperature And Humidity levels: Your HVAC technician can recommend which temperature and humidity levels to maintain within your building. Keeping adequate control of these levels will stop fungi, mould, and other contaminants from thriving and spreading through the indoor air.
- Installing HRV/ERVs into your system: You can further optimize humidity levels by installing heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) or energy recovery ventilators (ERVs). These units also ensure that indoor and outdoor air never mix, improving the overall performance of your HVAC system and air quality as a whole. Your HVAC technician will let you know which unit is best for your building’s needs.
- Employing UVC Lights For Enhanced Disinfection: UVC lights installed within your ductwork and system components will penetrate the cell walls of bacteria, viruses, mould, and other microorganisms, disrupting their DNA and neutralizing them. Installing these lights will help keep the indoor air fresh, clean, and safe.
- Having Your HVAC System Inspected: With so many people coming in and out of your retail store or shopping centre during operating hours, you need to ensure your HVAC system is operating at peak efficiency at all times. Having your HVAC service provider inspect, clean, and maintain your system regularly will go a long way to extending the life of your equipment and keeping your energy bills down.
Book Your HVAC Maintenance Visit Today
Now is the perfect time to book an inspection of your commercial HVAC system before the crowded holiday shopping season begins. It’s the best way to maintain optimum energy efficiency and reliable performance when you need it the most.
Springbank Mechanical Systems offers cost-effective maintenance programs designed for your specific needs, delivered by qualified HVAC technicians committed to providing quality work, expert advice, and courteous service. We’ll do everything we can to help your HVAC system run with maximum cost and energy efficiency while helping you keep your indoor as safe and clean as possible.
For more information on our reliable commercial HVAC services, call us anytime. We’d be happy to answer your questions about 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.