Proper air circulation keeps your employees and customers healthy and comfortable. Businesses that have reopened need to achieve quality airflow to reduce the risk of airborne viruses and pollutants. This is more than a convenience – it’s a New York State (NYS) requirement.
Air circulation can be broken down into two main categories:
- Total air circulation – The cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air moved through your HVAC system. This has a direct impact on indoor air quality because it shows the measurement of air that’s being filtered or cleaned every hour.
- Ventilation – The amount of air your HVAC system is bringing into the building. This is important because it relates to the amount of fresh, outside air that is breathed in.
How much ventilation, air circulation, and the amount of air you have to filter each hour depends on your building’s mechanical code and the classification of your business.
For example, malls greater than 800,000 square feet must ensure the HVAC system filtration meets the highest rated filtration compatible with the currently installed filter rack and air handling systems. Their minimum requirement is a MERV-13 filter, and it must be verified and documented by a certified HVAC technician.
“If you bring in the outside air through your HVAC system it conditions and filters the air first,” says Wes Marchand, VP of Commercial Installation at Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning. “So, you’re making sure you’re cleaning that air before it comes into your building. If you don’t filter the air through your HVAC system, you open yourself up for allowing other particulates like allergens to come in which will cause other problems for your employees and customers. Ventilating with your HVAC system allows you to be in control of the conditions you are allowing into your facilities.”
A smaller scale example would be buildings operating HVAC systems at less than a MERV-13 filtration rating and buildings older than 15 years. These buildings need to increase ventilation rates and outdoor air ventilation, keep systems running for longer hours, disable demand-controlled ventilation and consider the installation of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to deactivate airborne virus particles.
The NYS requirements are complex, and a lack of compliance could cost you your business. Don’t get caught assuming or guessing if your air circulation is up to code.
A certified Isaac technician will help you understand the latest NYS requirements, and we’ll walk you through the most appropriate, cost effective solutions to ensure your air, and business, is flowing smoothly.
What are MERV Ratings?
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, or MERV, report a filter’s ability to capture different sized particles. A higher MERV rating means that your filter is more efficient at filtering small particles like dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and airborne pollutants.
Not every HVAC system can support higher rated MERV filters. At Isaac, our technicians and project managers can recommend the best choice for your business.
VP of Commercial Installation at Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning