CDC Updates Ventilation Guidance
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control published new ventilation standards last month in an effort to prevent transmission of viruses in the workplace.
The new guidance will not only help prevent or reduce the indoor transmission of viruses like COVID-19 and influenza, but other airborne hazards such as wildfire smoke and allergens.
Officials said the concentration of viral particles is often in greater concentration indoors than outdoors and spreads more readily between people indoors than outdoors.
Depending on the building or facility, these updates could be expensive, but it is important that companies ensure that existing HVAC systems provide at least the minimum ventilation requirement in accordance with ventilation design codes.
The CDC recommends companies not only have a regular maintenance schedule for their HVAC systems, but install one that provides a minimum of five air changes per hour.
This is the first time the agency has noted how much rooms should be ventilated.
The ventilation mitigation strategies can vary throughout the year, but some of the more effective ones a company should consider according to CDC officials are:
- Opening windows and using fans to increase effectiveness of open windows.
- Repositioning supply/exhaust diffusers to create directional air flow.
- Adding in-room HEPA fan/filter systems
- Adding upper room or in-duct ultraviolet germicidal irradiation
Companies are encouraged to not only view any actions they take simply as a reaction to viruses like COVID, but ongoing steps improve the overall air quality of their buildings.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Philip Montgomery (860.244.1982).
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