How is your building ventilation system? Typically, as long as the HVAC system is working, this isn’t a question most building operators dwell on.
The pandemic has changed our lives in so many ways, and reconsidering building ventilation is just another example.
Building ventilation is now top-of-mind, and that’s a good thing. Not only does proper ventilation help stop the spread of illness, but it is key to comfort and peak mental performance.
Over the coming weeks, we’re going to share some helpful information about how you can ensure your building ventilation system is doing its job.
Pathogens like viruses, bacteria and fungi that make us sick vary in how they spread.
There are four ways germs can infect us.
In the early months of the pandemic, scientists believed the primary method of COVID-19 transmission was through microscopic droplets expelled from an infected person. In fact, public health officials told us it was unlikely that COVID-19 spread through the air, possibly because that type of transmission is relatively rare.
“There are few pathogens that are predominantly airborne. They often have other modes of transmission, as well,” says University of Guelph pathobiologist Dr. Adina Bujold.
Furthermore, Dr. Bujold notes it can be challenging to differentiate between airborne, droplet or contact transmission until scientists have a significant opportunity to perform research.
The need for more research explains why protocols and best practices have changed so much over the course of the pandemic.
Further study has revealed that the coronavirus behind COVID-19, like chickenpox and measles, can spread by floating through the air. Picture trying to avoid cigarette smoke by staying 2 metres away from the smoker, and you’ll get a good idea of why this discovery changes the conversation about disease prevention.
It’s still essential for building operators to make sure surfaces are clean. However, when keeping your occupants safe, you also need to examine your ventilation system.
Recently, Gasonic assisted the Calgary Board of Education with some of the necessary equipment to test ventilation in Calgary schools.
We rent equipment that can help you measure how air is circulating, what that air has in it, and what you need to do to stop pathogens from spreading in your building. This helps you stem the spread of COVID-19, and it also protects people from breathing in many other airborne toxins.
We’ll have more information about how and why to improve your ventilation in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
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