With summer around the corner and offices once again bustling with activity, businesses must look to ensure that their ventilation systems are in working order – with a study confirming that mechanical ventilation reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission in buildings by half, when compared to open windows.
The study by S&P UK showed that opening windows for 10 minutes every hour resulted in a 4.8% infection rate – double that of mechanical ventilation systems.
Their detailed scientific modelling considered three scenarios: schools, offices and restaurants.
After four days in a class of 24 pupils wearing masks and an infected teacher – the probability of infection was calculated at 21% with natural ventilation and only 9% with mechanical ventilation.
Their dining scenario considered 35 unmasked customers and a masked, but infected, waiter. Within two hours, two customers were infected and in the second couple of hours, a further two customer had been infected. With mechanical ventilation, the number of infected customers is halved for each period.
Lastly, in their modelled office scenario, where 40 masked staff including one infected individual share an open plan office, four employees are infected after four days with natural ventilation while only two are infected with mechanical ventilation systems.
It should put an end to the myth that ventilation systems increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and with warmer weather on the horizon, businesses must look to ensure that HVAC systems are in optimal working order during the summer months.
With evidence to support the methodology, facilities managers are tasked with the responsibility of informing staff members that HVAC systems should be allowed to run – and do their due diligence to ensure that ventilation systems are in working order, particularly with the late setting summer sun and warmer weather necessitating more energy to keep working spaces ventilated.
Find A Partner Who Understands Your Needs
With pressure on businesses to make the most of this period of positivity, now is an important time to find a partner who understands how important it is to stay open for trade.
While vaccine roll-outs and a better understanding of COVID-19 transmission are helping to ease the impact of the global pandemic, businesses must be vigilant to protect employees, visitors, suppliers and partners.
Minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission should be a number one priority for businesses, and ensuring that ventilation systems must form part of your compliance protocols.
At Voltix Services, we understand just how important it is to keep your staff healthy. Our team of experts is on hand to ensure that your ventilation and HVAC systems are up to scratch, make recommendations where needed, and assist in all your preventative maintenance needs.
Get in touch with us today to find out we could help you.