This year will go down as a significant turning point in our history. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world as we knew it upside down, sideways, and inside out!
Many of you have experienced significant personal and financial loss due to the novel Coronavirus outbreak and our hearts break for you. We will never be the same. Neither will our customers. The fear associated with this pandemic is real and it is changing the way we serve our clients.
Never Waste a Good Crisis
A former pastor of mine regularly reminded us to ‘never waste a good crisis.’ I’m not sure where he got that quote, but it is wise counsel indeed. When my wife was diagnosed with cancer, we were told to ‘watch for the blessings along the way.’
While it seemed like crazy advice at the time, we set out on our cancer journey with expectant hearts, searching for the blessings. We were blown away by the many positive experiences we had on the path.
When we approach life with a more positive outlook and expectation, our results are typically more positive. Your mindset plays a major role in how you get through any crisis. Is your mindset positive or negative? If you want better results, it all starts with a better mindset.
Positive Pandemic Results
How in the world can you find anything positive about this global pandemic? While this experience has been devastating to many people around the world, there are many positive things we have learned within the HVAC industry.
First, the world learned that the HVAC industry is an ‘essential business.’ We already knew that, but it’s great that the rest of the world is finally acknowledging our importance!
In fact, a handful of HVAC-related actions are suggested in an article titled ‘Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic,’ written by Lawrence J. Schoen, P.E., in the ASHRAE Journal Newsletter, March 24, 2020 (ncilink.com/COVIDGuidance). Some of these include:
- Increase outdoor air ventilation (use caution in highly polluted areas); with a lower population in the building, this increases the effective dilution ventilation per person
- Disable demand-controlled ventilation (DCV)
- Further open minimum outdoor air dampers, as high as 100%, thus eliminating recirculation (in the mild weather season, this need not affect thermal comfort or humidity, but clearly becomes more difficult in extreme weather)
- Improve central air filtration to the MERV-13 or the highest compatible with the filter rack, and seal edges of the filter to limit bypass. (He didn’t mention static pressure issues but that does need to be considered, too!)
- Keep systems running longer hours, if possible 24/7, to enhance the two actions above
n Consider portable room air cleaners with HEPA filters
- Consider ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, protecting occupants from radiation, particularly in high-risk spaces such as waiting rooms, prisons, and shelters.
While these recommendations target commercial buildings, many of them can be applied in residential applications as well. These are just some of the good things we’ve learned since this outbreak began. If we apply these lessons, our world will be better off.
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