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Commercial Buildings are Not Using All Their Existing Tools to Fight Covid 19

Businesses May Not Be Using All Their Existing Tools to Fight Covid 19

Businesses are still struggling in this economy. There is little hope on the horizon for that to change. Government wants to close everything. Whether you agree or disagree with their prescription, we all need to do what we can to improve our chances of staying open. The struggle for business owners is how to balance the added cost of new “safety” measures with the lower sales receipts they are already experiencing.


Here are some low cost measures that you may be able to implement to reduce the customer exposure.

Restaurants, office buildings, showrooms, and other indoor activity locations have air conditioners with fresh air make up already installed. This is a mechanical, adjustable vent that allows for outside air to be pulled in, mixed with the recirculated air, and pushed out into the ducts. Though you probably have one of these already installed, we find that 95% of them are fully closed.

Why? Mixing 110 degree air with the 80 degree air of your building will likely result in longer run cycles and an over all warmer indoor temperature. When opened your buildings temperature may not get below 78-80 degrees. That said, the trade off may be worth it. No one ever died of heat exposure at 80 degree ambient temperatures.

Cleaning the coils of the air conditioner will help slow the spread of the virus. This will reduce the bacteria and viruses that are living there. Coils are a perfect place to incubate an organism.  They are cold but not frozen.

There is a steady flow of dust and particles comprised largely of skin and tissue that makes perfect food for growing organisms. Also, coils are damp and have a steady flow of oxygen across them. Yep, your AC is a virtual petrie dish! Washing the coils regularly may get you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to slowing the indoor spread of the virus.

Though the science is slow and the certification slower, there are indoor air quality products that reduce particulate matter in the air we breathe. I have researched a number of these indoor air quality products. In my opinion, there are too many snake oils for sale in this category. Largely the consumer is a target for smoothing talking salesmen preying on someone’s fears.

That said, there are some that will help. Specifically, the ones that use UV light. I believe that it is only a matter of time until these products are USA certified to reduce covid. Other countries have already certified some UV indoor air quality products to kill covid. There are a handful of these that are USA certified to reduce bacteria, viruses, odors and fungi already. It is not a stretch to add covid to the list.

As the warmer weather breaks consider opening the doors. Let that fresh air come through. Not everyone has this option due to health department regulations or security measures. If you can find a workaround for this, it would be worth it.

If you are a restaurant, theater, grocery store or showroom it is likely that someone that has the virus has been in your building. Many catch the virus days before they recognize symptoms. Most of the restaurant and business owners I know personally are already up to their necks in prevention measures. The cost of doing more prevention coupled with the reduced capacity is a formula for a slow death.

My heart goes out to those struggling to stay afloat. Businesses need to adapt and overcome any way they can. 5 years from now we will have these same challenges. If businesses are to survive and thrive, we are going to need a new game plan. One based on what we know and not the fear of what we don’t.