Controlling the amount of outside air entering a building is required to maintain pressurization, meet energy efficiency goals, confirm compliance with local building codes, and maintain the health of the building and its’ occupants.
Outdoor Airflow Monitoring for Healthy Work Environments during COVID-19
COVID-19 may be spread by infected individuals even when they do not exhibit symptoms. Improving indoor air quality protects employees and members of the public by helping to reduce the spread of the disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations a hierarchy of controls that rates strategies from most to least effective. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) also offers guidance for building operations during COVID-19.
Consider improving the engineering controls in the building ventilation system through one or more of the following strategies we have curated from the CDC and ASHRAE:
- Increase ventilation rates.
- Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality for the current occupancy level for each space.
- Increase outdoor air ventilation, using caution in highly polluted areas. With a lower occupancy level in the building, this increases the effective dilution ventilation per person.
- Disable demand-controlled ventilation (DCV).
- Further open minimum outdoor air dampers (as high as 100%) to reduce or eliminate recirculation. In mild weather, this will not affect thermal comfort or humidity. However, this may be difficult to do in cold or hot weather.
- Improve central air filtration to the MERV-13 or the highest compatible with the filter rack, and seal edges of the filter to limit bypass.
- Keep systems running longer hours, 24/7 if possible, to enhance air exchanges in the building space.
The Air Monitor Outdoor Airflow Measurement Solution
The accurate measurement of outside airflow is required for the proper operation of today’s high-performance buildings. Outside air can pose a challenge regarding the metering technology to choose due to low airflow velocities, high moisture content in certain climates, and the presence of airborne contaminants at the point of measure.
The products below are commonly used for this application: