Ventilation and air quality have been key focuses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to remain important for many buildings, especially in healthcare. Creating and maintaining safe air for healthcare staff is vital. Whether in a staff office space, dental operatory, or even a staff break room, having a system in place to deliver clean air and dilute potential contaminants means a safer environment for staff.
With current staffing shortages and the constant threat of infections, it is vital to have safe air for healthcare staff. The current requirement for many of these spaces is to be net neutral, which many not be the best to encourage safety for staff.
Methods of Creating Safe Air
Creating safer air for healthcare staff requires a number of adjustments to HVAC systems and the space itself. For buildings with ventilation systems already in place, there are a few methods that can be used to improve upon that system. If there is not a system already in place, it is advised to contact an HVAC professional.
1. Positive Air Pressure
Positive air pressure in these spaces is ideal for keeping out contaminants. Correctly pressurizing key spaces, especially those adjacent to infection areas, is crucial.
2. Outdoor Air
Increasing the amount of outdoor air brought into a space can help increase airflow and remove air contaminants. In more mild weather or climates, bringing in additional outside air will not have a significant impact on temperature or humidity in the room. However, in more extreme or humid climates, this may not be feasible.
3. Air Filtration
Improving air filtration is another crucial aspect to making safer air for healthcare staff. When increasing outdoor air circulation is limited, increasing air filtration efficiency is particularly beneficial. A portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration system can help with additional air cleaning, particularly in higher risk areas that are frequently inhabited.
4. UV-C Bulbs
A useful supplement to creating a safe space for healthcare staff is ultraviolet germicidal irradiation with UV-C bulbs. UV-C bulbs are an effective way to inactivate airborne pathogens.
All of these methods work together to make air safe for healthcare staff. These supplemental methods can also help an existing system that might not be able to handle increasing air changes per hour. For the spaces allowing recirculating air, HEPA filters and UV-C light are particularly beneficial.
Make Any Room Safe with Setra AIIR Watch
In conjunction to adjusting an HVAC system for increased air changes per hour and to create positive pressure, an air cleaning system can purify the air, helping to better ensure safety for staff. Setra AIIR Watch is a portable advanced air cleaner designed for effective neutralization of 99.99% of airborne pathogens with both a HEPA filter and UV-C light. With the ability to generate a flow of 350 CFM, or 15 air changes per hour in a standard office space, the AIIR Watch Purifier is powerful and effective. Quiet and compact, Setra AIIR Watch can be easily brought into rooms to filter and cleanse the space of airborne pathogens.