It seems COVID-19 is something people may have to just deal with. This doesn't mean people should jump into the fire because you can't escape but rather figure out ways to avoid getting burned. Thankfully, commercial buildings are evolving to meet this new world.
Air Quality Matters
The US has a lot of empty commercial buildings. Some of these buildings could be filled with customers or employees, but that's no longer the case. It's easy to see this isn't sustainable, and if businesses want to continue moving forward, then the issue of safety has to be addressed.
People are going to have to do their part like social distancing and wearing a mask when near others, but the HVAC contractor has to take things up a notch.
One of the biggest changes folks in this industry are seeing is the increased demand for fresh air. Commercial building owners, and those who frequent these buildings, do not want to worry about recirculated air. This type of air could contain traces of the coronavirus. People want the air inside these buildings to be pushed out and replaced by fresh air. They want this to happen often to decrease the chances of COVID-19 being passed on.
The problem is this means commercial building owners are demanding more from their air handling units. A lot of commercial building owners haven't updated their units, so the idea of using these devices can make some owners anxious. Everyone knows the more you use something, the more likely it is to stop working on you.
The last thing owners want is to deal with a broken down unit they have to replace. You should plan to update your unit if your AC specialist believes it can't meet these new demands. Some specialists are now suggesting that owners consider adding a dedicated outdoor air system, which is sometimes called DOAs. These devices increase your AC's ability to introduce fresh air into the building.
There are some drawbacks to this new world. For one, even if your machine is in good shape, you are demanding more of it. This means wear and tear will take on a new meaning. You'll have to have your AC specialist check on your device more often to make sure everything is in good condition.
Another issue you are likely to see is an increase in energy usage. Your device is going to be using more power throughout the day to push fresh air into the building. This is something you'll likely see on your next energy bill. One solution could be to install solar panels to reduce the amount of energy you have to pay for.
Since your commercial building is going to have more fresh air, you'll need better filters. The more natural air comes into your system, the more your AC has to clean it to keep the air quality as you like it. Using higher-grade MERV filters is going to end up forcing your AC to work harder. Again, one thing you can do is install those filters, but you could also reduce the amount of time folks are inside in your commercial building depending on the type of business you have.
Experts in this field are not going to stop here. Folks are trying to make technology that can clean the air more effectively. Only time will tell what happens next.