Business Re-entry, HVAC Operations
& Energy Impact

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is shifting the way people live, work and play. Those in charge of managing a business, a facility, or an office building are now faced with applying elevated health and cleaning measures to ensure a healthier environment and better safety for their employees and customers, such as increasing ventilation and disinfecting spaces.

While engineering controls for ventilation and HVAC systems are critical considerations for building operations, it’s important to remember that the most effective means to prevent the transmission of any virus remain physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, surface cleaning and disinfection, and the use of face masks.


 

Re-entry and Reopening of Your Building

When preparing your building or facility for reopening, we recommend going through the following HVAC system checklist to ensure the proper operations of all building subsystems (checklist courtesy of ASHRAE):

We also recommend conducting the following HVAC system checks:


 

Potential Energy and Cost Impacts of HVAC Operational Changes

As buildings come back online with increased HVAC operations for the comfort and safety of its occupants, facility operators can expect to see their electricity costs go up, especially when implementing additional measures for improved air quality.

For more information on how Hawai‘i Energy can assist you with your energy bill contact one of our advisors at hawaiienergy.com/our-team. For commercial buildings, contact Hoang Tran at HOANG.H.TRAN@leidos.com

 

Suggested HVAC Operations

In general, Hawai‘i Energy considers the following best practices for commercial office building operations to be in line with the guidance provided by ASHRAE, EPA and CDC:


“COVID-19 is a virus the scientific community is still learning about and the content we are sharing are best practices from the industry to help guide you, but they do not guarantee it will reduce or eliminate the transmission of the disease. For official COVID-19 guidance, please follow CDC guidelines” (with CDC guidelines).


We encourage you to read the guidance below, from multiple resources, for general HVAC system maintenance and filter replacements, air filtration, air disinfection and surface disinfection. Additionally, you may find guidance for specific technology types, such as mechanical air filters, electronic air filters, UV-C systems, etc. Although these technologies may be effective, we recommend using care and professional judgement to understand the pros and cons of each and the impacts on existing building systems


Links/Resources:

ASHRAE and CDC Guidance

For more guidance on worker safety: WHO and OSHA links

AIA Resources for Architects

BOMA International’s Coronavirus Resource Center