There are two main strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in this unpredictable epidemic situation.
Firstly, direct transmission between persons can be minimized by following the instructions from health authorities: frequent handwashing, wearing face masks, social distancing… Secondly, the extensive guidance on applying some additional changes based on the interior systems of different buildings is given and there are three main guidelines: increasing ventilation with outdoor air as much as possible, upgrading the air filters to capture good viral particles more effectively, and deploying ultraviolet germicidal irradiation to inactivate the virus.
These measures are great complement for our personal protection, however, they all increase the energy consumption and other expenses of a building. Here are some suggestions to compensate those expenses.
- Improving Ventilation Efficiency:
– Using an energy recovery ventilation (ERV) to exchange heat and humidity between the outdoor air supply and the air exhaust. An ERV can pre-cool air during summer or pre-heat air during winter.
– Using an airside economizer, which takes advantage of “free cooling” with outdoor air when the weather is adequate.
- Reducing Lighting Costs When Using UV Disinfection:
– Reducing the operating cost of UVGI systems directly is impractical. However, building owners can reduce lighting costs overall by upgrading their normal lighting systems to LED when they typically save between 30% and 90% of lighting costs.
Energy efficiency measures can help compensate for these additional expenses in the epidemic situation. A qualified MEP engineering firm can help you improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency at the same time.