covid 19 guidance for mechanical systems

COVID-19 Guidance for Mechanical Systems

As response to the coronavirus (COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, REHVA experts drafted a guidance document on how to operate and use building services in areas with a coronavirus outbreak to prevent the spread of COVID-19 depending on HVAC or plumbing systems related factors. We prepared COVID-19 Guidance for Mechanical Systems.

Practical recommendations for building services operation

  • Increase air supply and exhaust ventilation
  • Use more window airing
  • Humidification and air-conditioning have no practical effect
  • Safe use of heat recovery sections
  • No use of recirculation
  • Duct cleaning has no practical effect
  • Change of outdoor air filters is not necessary
  • Room air cleaners can be useful in specific situations
  • Toilet lid use instructions

covid 19 guidance for mechanical systems

Summary of Practical Measures for Building Services Operation

  • Secure ventilation of spaces with outdoor air
  • Switch ventilation to nominal speed at least 2 hours before the building usage time and switch to lower speed 2 hours after the building usage time
  • At nights and weekends, do not switch ventilation off, but keep systems running at lower speed
  • Ensure regular airing with windows (even in mechanically ventilated buildings)
  • Keep toilet ventilation 24/7 in operation
  • Avoid open windows in toilets to assure the right direction of ventilation
  • Instruct building occupants to flush toilets with closed lid
  • Switch air handling units with recirculation to 100% outdoor air
  • Inspect heat recovery equipment to be sure that leakages are under control
  • Switch fan coils either off or operate so that fans are continuously on
  • Do not change heating, cooling and possible humidification setpoints
  • Do not plan duct cleaning for this period
  • Replace central outdoor air and extract air filters as usually, according to maintenance schedule
  • Regular filter replacement and maintenance works shall be performed with common protective measures including respiratory protection


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