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Covid-19 Airborne Impact on Buildings’ HVAC System

US ratings for HVAC systems show that only 0.3-micron particles can be filtered using High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters

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HVAC System



After considering the probability that coronavirus can spread through airborne transmission, and acknowledging some evidence proving that in-room transmission is something to worry about, governments, building engineers, heating, ventilation, air conditioner manufacturers, regulators, and trade groups should start planning on improving airflows to reduce the spread of the virus indoors.

Making changes in airflow management, air-purification systems, and ventilation systems are one of the best ways that may help in preventing more infections.

HVAC systems are effective in keeping the air clean as it is composed of devices, including mechanical filters, which can filter small to large particles.

However, not all HVAC systems can trap small particles, such as coronavirus which is 0.1 microns.

Also, the US ratings for HVAC systems show that only 0.3-micron particles can be filtered using High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. And so, more research is a must to figure out what minimum of filtration rating could take out the coronavirus particles from the air.


Apart from upgrading or changing the HVAC systems, having better airflow management could play a significant role in controlling the transmission. One of the best ways is to create a vertical laminar airflow instead of turbulent. This way, we can assure that the air will be particle-free.

Another method is to keep the air at a slow and steady speed so particles wouldn’t be able to travel fast from one person to another.

Moreover, having sufficient air ventilation in buildings or upgrading them may also effectively prevent transmission airborne virus and particles.

Read more  The Challenges of Global Vaccine Distribution


While it is still not validated whether having HVAC systems can help prevent the COVID-19 transmission or not, it is always best to protect oneself all the time, especially indoors where close physical contact is inevitable.

Wearing face masks and keeping physical distance should always be kept in mind when indoors or in public places.

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Robert Bagatsing
Managing Editor and Founder of GineersNow based in Dubai and Manila. Survived marketing at Harvard, Management at AIM and proud Bedan.


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