enVerid SVP of Sales & Marketing Doug Engel recently penned an NYREJ article examining advanced air filtration strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Noting the evolving recommendations from ASHRAE, Engel investigates why experts are taking another look at the wisdom of relying solely on adding outside air ventilation to clean indoor air:
“Conditioning of outside air to achieve a comfortable temperature and humidity is the largest cost of operating a commercial HVAC system. The more conditioning that must be done, the more energy is used. This makes maximizing outdoor air both a costly strategy and one that exacerbates a building’s carbon footprint, a growing concern for companies as they adopt sustainability goals and seek to avoid GHG penalties soon to be imposed by measures like [NY] Local Law 97.”
“William Bahnfleth, chair of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Epidemic Task Force shared some illuminating research in a recent webinar entitled “Fundamentals of COVID-19 Risk Management.” Professor Bahnfleth, who also teaches Architectural Engineering at Penn State, showed that the mean relative risk of infection can be reduced equally by filtration or by ventilation. According to professor Bahnfleth, “Achieving the same relative risk of infection using ventilation is much more costly [than filtration], primarily due to the energy cost of increased ventilation rates.” The infection risk reduction associated with the use of higher-efficiency filters (represented by higher Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, or MERV ratings) is almost entirely consistent regardless of the number of air changes once filters are at the high efficiency level.”
Read the article here and learn more about our upcoming webinar with Dr. Bahnfleth here.