GEN – 1105.00. In this GENeral Document, Eurovent presents general and basic recommendations on the operation of ventilation systems during the coronavirus pandemic. The following document also provides additional sources of information on COVID-19.
→ Please click here for the Bulgarian language version of this GEN Document (courtesy of TANGRA): COVID-19: Редовната и правилна поддръжка на вентилационните системи
Current knowledge on the spread of coronavirus
As of now, researchers know that the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is spread through droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. The droplets do not remain in suspension, but generally fall to the ground or land on other surfaces at a short distance from the infected person — this is why social and physical distancing are effective in preventing the spread. This is information from Johns Hopkins University, widely recognised and quoted as a source of expertise on the coronavirus.
There is currently no evidence that the coronavirus can spread through ventilation or air conditioning systems. In the knowledge of Eurovent, no authorities have yet issued guidance for the operation of (mechanical) ventilation systems.
There is no doubt that the concentration of the smaller airborne droplets, which may contain viruses including viruses other than SARS-CoV-2 should be kept as low as possible.
This can be effectively achieved by correctly operating mechanical ventilation systems.
With this background, the general Eurovent recommendation is to maintain and operate ventilation systems properly in accordance with instructions and applicable hygiene standards.
As a precaution for the pandemic risk period, the following measures may be useful:
- Increase ventilation rates and increase the percentage of outdoor air in the system
- Extend the operation time of the ventilation system
- Check that the ventilation units are properly set up and they are serviced correctly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
- Consider maintaining the indoor relative humidity above 30% (where possible)
As soon as new reliable information about the disease and how it spreads is available, the recommendations will be updated.
Reliable sources of information
The following websites can be consulted for additional information about the coronavirus:
- Johns Hopkins University: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/
- REHVA: https://www.rehva.eu/activities/covid-19-guidance
- ASHRAE: https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/resources
The relevant hygienic guidelines can be found in the following Eurovent Recommendations and Guidebooks:
- Eurovent Air Filters Guidebook: https://eurovent.eu/?q=content/eurovent-air-filters-guidebook-first-edition
- Eurovent Air Handling Units Guidebook: https://eurovent.eu/?q=content/eurovent-air-handling-units-guidebook-first-edition
- Eurovent REC 6/14 – 2000: Hygienic aspects in Air Handling Units: https://eurovent.eu/?q=content/eurovent-614-2000-hygienic-aspects-air-handling-units