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COVID-19 & HVAC: Frequently Asked Questions

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With its high infection rates and easy transmissibility, COVID-19 has proven to be a significant challenge for businesses throughout the New York metro area. Because the virus can be carried in respiratory droplets that are expelled while coughing, sneezing, or even talking, it is only logical to consider the possibility of the infection spreading through HVAC systems. Though that has not been shown to be a common cause for infection, it is a good idea to understand the risks. As such, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and its interactions with commercial HVAC systems.

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 and HVAC Systems

Is COVID-19 transmitted through HVAC air ducts?

No evidence has shown that COVID-19 has been successfully transmitted through HVAC ducts, but because the particles can linger in the air for hours, it may be possible. HVAC sanitizing and cleaning may help to minimize the possibility of HVAC contamination and spread. To schedule HVAC sanitizing in the NY metro area, contact AFGO today.

Can an HVAC air filter remove COVID-19 particles?

Most HVAC air filters are designed primarily to protect the HVAC equipment itself, so they are not effective at filtering tiny virus particles. High-efficiency or HEPA filters may work to filter out some COIVD-19 particles, but due to the thicker, denser filter media, the HVAC system will have to work harder to provide the same levels of comfort, if it runs at all. Some high-MERV filters rated at 13 or above can remove COVID-19 particles from the air, but they are only about 50% effective.

Do UV lights work against COVID-19?

They are partially effective. COVID-19 particles that land on the evaporator coil or other surfaces within the range of the UV sterilization light will be rendered inert, but airborne particles that carry COVID-19 virus will not linger long enough in front of the UV light to effectively eliminate the virus.

Can an air purifier eliminate airborne COVID-19 particles?

Air cleaning systems that use oxidation or ionization processes can be quite effective at eliminating COVID-19 or rendering the virus inert. The most effective systems include those based on photocatalytic oxidization, bipolar ionization, or plasma ionization.

What other methods are effective against airborne COVID-19 particles?

Because viruses do not like high humidity, using a humidifier to add moisture to the air can kill some COVID-19 particles, though you may risk increasing the spread of mold, dust mites, and other organisms that thrive in high humidity. Adding extra outside air with a make-up air unit can dilute any contaminated air, reducing the risk of infection.

Strategies to Prevent COVID-19 Spread in Commercial Facilities

At AFGO, we recommend commercial HVAC cleaning, sanitizing, and maintenance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in commercial buildings, as well as regular air filter changes. If you need help servicing and sanitizing your commercial HVAC system in New York City, our team at AFGO can help. We serve businesses throughout the NY metro area, and we are committed to helping our clients minimize the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities.

When you need commercial HVAC services in the NY metro area, turn to our experts at AFGO. We offer commercial HVAC maintenance, cleaning, repairs, and more. Call us today at (718) 478-5555 or contact us online to schedule commercial HVAC services today.

At AFGO, we don’t believe in one-size fits all HVAC systems…
we succeed by providing our customers with alternative HVAC solutions.