Indoor Air Quality focus of March 3 webinar
By Jeff Hutchins, MS, CIH, Regional Loss Prevention Manager
We all know a mask, social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning can weaken the spread of COVID-19. So can improvements to your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
How to do that in a smart, step-wise fashion will be the subject of a free webinar we’re hosting from 2-3:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, in partnership with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. Employers and building owners wanting to improve their indoor air quality will benefit from this webinar.
In the age of COVID-19, indoor air quality, or IAQ, has taken on a whole new dimension. Since the virus that causes COVID-19 can be transmitted through the air, maintaining safe and healthy IAQ becomes a vital link in preventing the disease. It also reduces the risk of other indoor health concerns. (IAQ, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.)
Topics covered include:
- Increasing outside air and room (or building) air exchanges.
- Improving central HVAC filtration.
- Using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration to enhance central HVAC system air cleaning, particularly in high risk areas.
- Deploying ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as a supplement where increased ventilation and/or filtration options are limited.
The webinar also details BWC’s COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program. This federally funded program originally targeted nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and adult day centers, but we are expanding the program to include the following:
- Intermediate care facilities.
- Senior centers.
- Adult care facilities.
- Waiver settings (group homes).
- Substance use treatment centers.
For more on IAQ, I encourage you to check out these resources:
- Building Readiness – American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
- Ventilation in Buildings – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace – Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).