Response to COVID-19

In championing the air we breathe, 5 DIAMOND MECHANICAL stands in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19). The airborne nature of this coronavirus puts it as a priority for its prevention and containment — 5 DIAMOND HVAC professionals are at the front and center of this fight. The priority will be keeping their employees, their facilities, and their families safe. 5 DIAMOND MECHANICAL will be aware of what technologies are available so that we may inform, educate and assist our concerned clients.

One of the big questions about COVID-19 — especially from an HVAC perspective — is how significant of a role airborne transmission plays in its spread.

The current consensus is that it’s predominantly large droplet transfer. This means droplets too large to remain airborne that are spread through coughing and sneezing within a fairly close range of other people. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) puts this range at about six feet. Because small particles remain airborne for some period of time, the design and operation of HVAC systems that move air can affect disease transmission in several ways, such as by the following:

  • Supplying clean air to susceptible occupants
  • Containing contaminated air and/or exhausting it to the outdoors
  • Diluting the air in a space with cleaner air from outdoors and/or by filtering the air
  • Cleaning the air within the room
  • how to best protect occupants from exposure to the virus, in particular in relation to airborne particles that might be circulated by HVAC systems.

UV disinfection systems for HVAC along with a high MERV rated filtration, address microorganisms that are very small. Filters with a high MERV rating are designed to capture particulates in the air … [while] surface ultraviolet disinfection and airstream UV disinfection are effective at inactivating pathogens. UV germicidal systems have also been shown to reduce microbial load and pathogens that are found within the HVAC system and drain pan that would otherwise be introduced and distributed throughout the building.

Since COVID-19 is transmitted via air and direct contact, it could be presumed that HVAC systems that are not using a high MERV rated filter and or a UV disinfection system can inadvertently facilitate the movement of viruses. Airborne droplets containing infectious agents can remain in room air for six minutes and longer. Scientists have found that COVID-19 can remain infectious on surfaces at room temperature for up to nine days.

Upper-air UV-C fixtures can destroy those microbes when they are exposed to the UV-C energy in a matter of seconds.” Kill ratios up to 99.9 percent on a first-pass basis have been modeled, and concentrations are further reduced each time the air circulates.

5 DIAMOND MECHANICAL recommends upgrading filters to a MERV 14 or higher to capture the COVID-19 airborne droplet nuclei and droplets. The World Health Organization has defined airborne droplets and droplet nuclei of COVID-19 to range from 0.5-5.0 microns in size. The NAFA ASHRAE 52.2 chart (available upon request) shows the MERV 14 is highly efficient in capturing this particular size.

5 DIAMOND MECHANICAL is committed to providing the very best in HVAC. Join along with us in our fight against COVID-19. Have a regular maintenance schedule for your system. Use high MERV rated filters. Install a UV disinfection system. Please Be Safe. Please Be Well.

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