Recovering from Covid…air conditioning matters

In February 2021, PM Boris Johnson announced the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England. A hugely positive step in the right direction, creating much optimism for all, that life can soon return to normal. However, with the lockdown restrictions being eased it has now become an important focus of companies and businesses, on how to safely reopen their doors to receive, and protect, theirreturning workforce and customers.

The law says employers must make sure there is an adequate supply of fresh air(ventilation) in enclosed areas of the workplace, and during the pandemic, and post pandemic period, this has never been more important, as we have learned how and whythe COVID-19 virus spreads.

However, sourcing the correct information on these important matters can be a minefield.We have used some of the latest information provided by the Health and Safety Executive and World Health Organisation to help you understand the importance of goodventilation in enclosed workspaces.

WHY IS VENTILATION IMPORTANT?

Adequate ventilation reduces how much virus particles are in the air. It helps reduce therisk        of aerosol transmission. This is when someone breathes in small particles (aerosols) in the air after a person infected with the virus has been in the same enclosed area.

It is proven that the risk of virus transmission is greater in areas that are poorly ventilated.

VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19

In simple terms, during a pandemic, we should all be maximising the fresh air in our enclosed spaces. There may be opportunity to increase air flow by opening, or partially opening, doors, windows, and air vents. That said, buildings being used for purposes such as retail, healthcare and hospitality, must rely on mechanical ventilation and air conditioning.

We know that heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are used tomaintain indoor air temperature, and humidity, at comfortable levels, but how do these systems potentially help to reduce the spread of a virus     such as COVID-19?

A well maintained and operated system can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in indoor spaces by increasing the rate of air change, reducing air recirculation, and increasing the amount of outdoor air coming in. Settings that recirculate the internal air have been advised not to be used during a pandemic, however, with the advancements in air cleaning technology, including hydroxyl radical technology, this issue has been minimised. Air conditioning systems should always be regularly inspected, maintained,and cleaned.

LIFE AFTER COVID … A CLEANER FUTURE FOR OUR WORKPLACES

Important lessons have been learnt during the pandemic and the health of ouremployees, colleagues and customers is something that we can never be complacentabout.

We have already discussed the importance of a modern air conditioning system that iscorrectly installed, set up and maintained, but how can an air conditioning system in the workplace continue to keep us safer and well post the COVID crisis?

There are many other benefits of air conditioning that you may not be aware of. One of the most obvious benefits is that the working environment can    be kept at a comfortableand constant temperature, but here we touch on other  benefits that the installation, andregular maintenance of, air conditioning   systems can provide.

AIR CONDITIONERS REDUCE HUMIDITY

Keeping humidity down is of crucial importance in the workplace. A humid, dampenvironment can be very detrimental to our health. In fact, enclosed areas where humidity is high, have been strongly linked to an increase in mould, dust mites, dehydration andheatstroke.

AIR CONDITIONERS REDUCE ALLERGENS

Air conditioners contain air filtration systems that can reduce dust mites, allergens and  pollutants, which can lead to asthma attacks.

AIR CONDITIONERS IMPROVE AIR QUALITY

Air conditioners can help us to breathe easier, by assisting in the removal of dust andbacteria from the working environment.

AIR CONDITIONERS REDUCE THE RISK OF DEHYDRATION & HEAT STROKE

Keeping the air at the optimum temperature reduces the amount of water we lose from ourbody through sweating. When temperatures at work soar, dehydration can be anunpleasant side effect causing headaches, tiredness, and loss of concentration.

AIR CONDITIONERS KEEP UNWANTED PESTS AT BAY

No one would welcome an invasion of insects or parasites into the workplace. Theinstallation of an air conditioning system will put a stop to any unwanted visitors of this kind, by being able to maintain a comfortable temperature with windows and doors closed.

AIR CONDITIONERS ELIMATE ODOURS AND FUMES

Many workplaces are in areas that are polluted because of high traffic volumes, publictransport, and industrial buildings.

The air filtration system in your air conditioner can enable you to breathe easier and help to provide cleaner air that is free from odours and fumes, providing a more positive environment.

AIR CONDITIONERS MAKE FOR A PRODUCTIVE WORKPLACE

A workplace with cool, consistent, and clean air makes for a comfortable and more productive working environment. We all know too well how being too hot can make you feel sluggish and agitated. The ideal room temperature is around 21-22 degrees and having air conditioning makes the ideal temperature far easier to maintain.

NEW TECHNOLOGY

The HVAC industry have been working hard to bring cutting edge technology to our workplace, with air conditioning systems that inhibit the growth of pollutants such ascertain bacteria, viruses, moulds, and odours by breaking them down and neutralising the unpleasant effects.

PANASONIC NANOE™ X

Panasonic have developed a patented technology called ‘nanoe™ X’ which is incorporated into a selection of their air conditioning systems. They are also currently looking at rolling this out across their entire range of air conditioners.

nanoe™ X can inhibit several types of pollutants, such as certain types of bacteria, viruses, mould, allergens, pollen, and certain hazardous substances. This process happens via generators that contributes to clean air and deodorises by producing nano-sized hydroxyl radicals. This technology is now used in offices, hospitals, healthcare centres, hotels and even people’s homes.

The nanoe™ X technology has now been through rigorous testing to establish its effectiveness against COVID-19 and the results were impressive. We now know that nanoe™ X has the capability to inhibit the activity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

So, whilst air conditioning has proven benefits to provide better quality air to an environment, we are now better equipped with technology that contributes to the reduction of COVID-19. Not only are we able to provide a comfortable working and living space, but we are also able to provide a safer one.

 

Article by Evergreen Air Conditioning

 

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