Covid 19 calls for occupied spaces to be supplied with high levels of Fresh Air. This begs many questions:

  • What are considered high levels of fresh air?
  • Can our system provide the “required” level?
  • What impact does this have on running costs?
  • Can our system provide adequate cooling/heating when on maximum fresh air?
  • How do we achieve the recommendations?


What are considered high levels of fresh air?

Current Guidelines are that there should be 10 l/s or more of fresh air per person in the occupied space.


Can our system provide the “required” level?

Unless your system was designed and installed in last couple of years it is more than likely that insufficient fresh air can be provided when there is high occupancy


What impact does this have on running costs?

A recirculating AHU would typically have to raise/lower the return air temperature by 5°C. Full Fresh could require up to 20°C temperature change, which in the unlikely event this possible to achieve the running costs would be substantial greater.


Can our system provide adequate cooling/heating when on maximum fresh air?

Systems designed and installed pre Covid 19 were base on relatively small amount of fresh air, so the heating and cooling capacity was based on the room conditions with 10% fresh air supply.


Analogy

Your domestic central heating system/radiators were sized on the house having the windows closed. If you were then to decide you wanted to keep all the windows open all year round you could only maintain desired temperature with a much larger system.



How do we achieve the recommendations?

This can be broken down into 2 levels. What have I got/what do I need and how do I operate what I have got?


What have I got/what do I need?

It is unlikely that most organisation know the air volume they have and need to satisfy the recommendations So a 1-day site IRS visit will determine both factors.


If the recommendations cannot be satisfied what are the options?

Getting the correct fresh air levels is key, but the impact on temperatures is equally as important. Obviously, the quantity of fresh air supplied is matched by tempered air exhausted, so heat recovery is vital.

The Covid 19 recommendations call for minimum air changes per hour based on occupancy levels, with standard control philosophies being based on temperature alone. Correct Fresh air supply levels should be determined by occupancy based on the room Co2 level, which then reduces energy costs to reheat/cool.

IRS’s Compliance Department have worked closely with a number of our clients to achieve the most appropriate and cost effective solution to both meet the Covid 19 recommendations and optimise ongoing running costs.

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“AKW have been working with IRS for over 8 years and their service has always been excellent. Their understanding of our business needs enables them to provide an extremely high standard of servicing and maintenance of our air conditioning and heating systems.” 

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