A Few Highlights from New ASHRAE Guidelines for Building Operators

fridgewizenews HVAC, Indoor Air Quality

Social distancing gives us a good time to discuss air quality. As states are starting to contemplate reopening, building owners should keep these ASHRAE guidance in mind.

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Some things to consider based on the guidance:

  • MERV rated filters are a good option, but you will need to keep the static pressure drop in mind to make sure that you don’t pull down too much airflow. Some filter manufacturers will provide you data on their MERV rated pressure drops (Nordic Pure for example). One way you can tell, is just do a temperature difference (delta-T)  comparison during heating to see what it is with standard filter versus a new filter. You’d like to keep that close to the middle of manfucaturer’s’s recommended DeltaT. 
  • Keep your systems running 24/7. Fan in the ON position.
  • UVGI (UltraViolet Germicidal Irradiation) or ionizers to help treat the return air.  This can help mitigate having the outside air dampers fully open as some ionizer companies claim that they can treat the return air to provide the same dilution factor as outdoor air.  This will help save energy from the fact that you do not need to heat or cool the unconditioned outside air.

With the three suggestions from the ASHRAE building guidance, this will mean that you will be running your supply fan motor which will result in a higher energy consumption. This is where you can mitigate these changes with energy efficiency measures. (We can help you wade through these operating suggestions and help you save energy at the same time with a supply fan motor upgrade to a more efficient permanent magnet motor.)

While the commercial sector works from home, making these changes now can ensure a healthier, more productive team and guests upon their return. 

Paul Lin has worked in the electric motor industry for most of his professional career. He has worked in manufacturing, design engineering, application engineering, marketing in helping many of the HVAC OEM’s integrate the latest motor technologies into their systems. Paul has also worked with the Department of Energy, utilities, and other organizations in advancing minimum efficiency standards through state and federal regulations as well as through utility incentives.