Q. Research has shown that COVID-19 is spread person-to-person by way of the virus being contained in microscopic water droplets, emitted through sneezing or coughing, that can remain in the air for up to three hours. Aside from face masks, frequent hand washing and social distancing, what else can business owners and operators do to help protect their employees and patrons from contracting COVID-19?
A. There are three primary practical and proven safety measures that business owners and operators should consider to better protect their employees and patrons. We at Nash Plumbing and Mechanical can work with you to help determine which products best fit your application and budget, so let me tell you about us.
This company was founded by my grandfather in 1974, and has operated continuously at the same location in Sumter County servicing commercial clients since then. We have grown substantially in size and knowledge and now that 2020 introduced COVID-19 into our everyday lives, we have shifted our focus. Our research into COVID-19 mitigation efforts can help you by providing the quality installation and support needed to make your business a better place.
The first and most easily implemented safeguard is upgrading your current air conditioning system filters to MERV 13 or higher to catch water droplets .1 micron in size exiting the human body that COVID-19 attaches itself to. The typical filter is around MERV 8, which is not designed to capture particles that small, so we suggest switching them out. But because smaller particles are being captured by MERV 13 filters, the increased pressure drop could pose a greater risk of damaging your system unless filter changes are done frequently.
The second system is placing high-wall in-room UV lights inside your place of business to allow the COVID-19 virus adequate exposure to UV light and be effectively neutralized. Research shows that due to the velocity of air moving past UV lights, when placed in your A/C unit, the virus passes too quickly for neutralization to be accomplished, but hIgh-wall in-room UV lights treat the air that slowly circulates around a room to do it.
Lastly, adding bi-polar ionization to your existing A/C unit is probably the most effective solution and can be done at a reasonable cost. The bi-polar system, currently being used at places like the Whitehouse, Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital, creates positively and negatively charged ions within the air stream that break viruses and bacteria down on contact. The charged ions attract smaller particulates that enhance the effectiveness of your existing centralized filtration systems without producing ozone or other harmful byproducts, allowing you to bring outdoor freshness indoors.
3494 N. US Highway 301, Wildwood