As we approach the start of the fall semester, many schools are still trying to figure out how to ensure a safe in-person learning environment for students. We know COVID-19 is most commonly spread through the air. We also know outside air is cleaner than indoor air, which means building air flow becomes a critical factor in reducing risk.
According to The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.”
That means, in addition to cleaning and sanitizing protocols and any number of technology solutions for managing COVID-19, ensuring efficient outdoor airflow can significantly help reduce risk in schools and other buildings. Among its other guidance for schools, ASHRAE’s Epidemic Task Force, created in March, recommends schools ensure at least 150% of their minimum ventilation airflow to help keep clean air flowing through facilities.
Airxchange says its Energy Recovery Wheel systems are ideally suited for this scenario with their interchangeable energy transfer segments. The wheels rotate between the incoming outdoor airstream and the building exhaust airstream. As the wheels rotate, they transfer a percentage of the heat and moisture differential from one airstream to the other, preconditioning air to optimize heating and cooling system efficiency.
The interchangeable segments allow for varying degrees of air flow and thermal effectiveness to maximize effectiveness in any conditions. Airxchange says the design of its wheels allows for the segments to be reconfigured to maximize air flow in minutes and without having to replace the entire wheel. They can also be very easily cleaned to reduce airflow resistance. The company says its wheel is the only one on the market that can be deep cleaned and washed to return it to original factors performance.
The company recognized the budget pressure schools are under, especially as they try to manage an effective learning environment during the pandemic. To help, it created its “Schools Fight COVID” program, basically a buy one get two free incentive on its PDX segment sets, which are specifically designed to maximize air flow.
School systems ordering their PDX segments before September 7, 2020 will be eligible for the incentive program.