Learn how to maintain energy efficiency during COVID-19 building restrictions.
Demand control ventilation brings outdoor air into the building when occupied. Controls reduce ventilation when the building is unoccupied. This process is very efficient. The CDC, however, is recommending outdoor airflow nearly 100% of the time. Unfortunately, this will increase energy use.
It is being recommended that HVAC systems use filters with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of 13 or 14. These are effective at blocking virus carriers, however, they also add significant resistance to airflow, leading to higher energy usage.
Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) Lighting
The CDC recommends implementing this type of lighting as it is effective in killing viruses. UVGI lighting, however, consumes a lot of energy.
Offset Guideline Inefficiency
Energy Management Systems
These smart-systems can dramatically improve the overall efficiency of a building by monitoring, reporting, and adjusting energy use across a range of systems. This investment will pay off now and in the long run.
Service & Maintenance
It’s important to change out MERV filters every two to three months to avoid high pressure caused by restricted airflow. Regular service of your HVAC system will help to ensure that your equipment is running at peak efficiency, avoid future costly repairs and even downtime.
UVGI lights may be a more efficient option in buildings with larger systems, like healthcare facilities.
Make Note of Changes
It’s very easy to make a temporary adjustment to your mechanical systems and then forget to change back when the time is right. Eventually, these restrictions will be lifted, at which point you’ll want to ensure everything is returned to its most efficient state.