Following the latest advice from HVAC authorities and industry professionals, Andrews Sykes has taken steps to safeguard our customers and ensure our air conditioning hire operations are Covid-19 secure. Whilst it is extremely unlikely that an air conditioning or ventilation system will facilitate the spread of coronavirus, we have implemented a number of initiatives in order to give our customers the confidence and security they need to provide their staff with a safe environment to work in.
Leading HVAC bodies have highlighted several factors that can be addressed to reduce the likelihood of the coronavirus spreading within your building.
- Sanitise air conditioning and ventilation equipment
- Use the appropriate PPE when servicing any HVAC equipment
- Improve fresh air supply where possible to do so
- Maintain Humidity levels between 40% and 60% RH
- Improve filtration and keep filters clean
Andrews Sykes has introduced increased levels of sterilisation and cleaning with immediate effect. A specialist anti-bacterial agent is thoroughly applied to every single unit during a pre-delivery inspection (PDI). As part of this process, the internal coils are systematically disinfected to remove any dirt or bacteria. Condensate tanks and pump lines will be methodically cleaned in addition to the chassis exterior of every single unit.
Filters will also be comprehensively sterilised or indeed replaced altogether, giving customers peace of mind amid concerns about the hypothetical effects of uncleanliness. Our pre-delivery inspection is concluded with a PAT test to ensure the electrical integrity of each unit, before a ‘fully sanitised’ sticker is attached ratifying that all appropriate checks have been successfully carried out.
Finally, a plastic bag will be placed over each individual unit to keep it isolated until it arrives in the customer’s building. This process will be reconducted in its entirety each time a unit is collected from a customer’s site, with the old sticker removed and replaced once servicing and sterilisation has been completed again.
Personal Protection Equipment
We have undertaken risk assessments to eliminate potential hazards and since implemented a company-wide protocol in relation to the cleaning and sanitisation of our units.
All Andrews Air Conditioning engineers will use the required personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks, gloves, high visibility vests, goggles and where necessary, bodysuits. Hand sanitisers will be readily available and each employee will work a safe distance away from other colleagues, in line with best practice guidelines.
Increase fresh air volumes
It is recommended that, where possible, the ratio of fresh air to recirculated air within your building should be increased to 50:50. Most HVAC systems are designed to work on 20% fresh air and 80% recirculated air, but there are many ways to improve fresh air ventilation.
By using exhaust tube air conditioning units, up to 30% of the room air is exhausted and automatically replaced with fresh air. A very practical solution bringing high levels of ventilation, this can be further improved by opening windows slightly.
Other applications that permit the use of PAC22 split-type units with spigots or ET25 ducted air conditioners can benefit from 100% fresh air. Our larger units, including HPAC models and air handlers, can also be adapted to run on 100% fresh air.
Using additional ventilation equipment may be advisable in warehouses or temporary structures to improve fresh air flow. It should be noted, however, that larger volumes of fresh air can impact the performance of any air conditioning presence. This must be considered before calculating any cooling load.
Maintain humidity between 40% and 60%
It is commonly agreed among scientists that the spread of viruses and bacteria is drastically reduced when relative humidity (RH) is maintained between 40% and 60%. Humidity control becomes a potential issue when high volumes of air conditioning are combined with poor or insufficient ventilation.
Sealed buildings, in particular, are known for having difficulties with keeping RH above 40% due to a lack of natural airflow and no scope for opening windows. In situations where an increase in RH is required, humidifiers are an obvious starting point.
If good natural ventilation is present, then the use of evaporative coolers is often an excellent solution as they will add moisture to the atmosphere while simultaneously reducing the air temperature.
Improve filtration where possible
Although there are no filters proven to block the spread of COVID-19, the use of HEPA type filters has been demonstrably effective in removing a higher percentage of droplets and particles from the air. As such, we are to offer some of our larger units, including our HPAC models, air handlers and fan coils with HEPA filters.
In certain circumstances our PAC22 and PAC60 units may also be also be fitted with HEPA filters, as with all filters, these will require frequent cleaning and replacing in order to maximise efficiency and cleanliness.
Andrews Sykes leading the way to safer air conditioning hire
As the requirements of our customers evolve during this difficult period, we are working harder than ever to provide the best service we can and in the safest possible way. By following the above guidelines set out by leading industry specialists, it is extremely unlikely that an air conditioning or ventilation system will facilitate the spread of coronavirus.
The use of PPE, strictly enforced social distancing, thorough sanitisation of units and an awareness of the conditions that can allow viruses to thrive are all crucial factions of the service Andrews Sykes provide to our customers.
Your safety continues to be our number one priority, which is why we constantly revisit our procedures to assess whether there are any components requiring improvement or change.