Concerned about indoor air quality?
UF Facilities Services representatives have received a number of questions regarding indoor air quality related to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems on campus in recent days.
Both the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Condition Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have provided air systems guidance. UF has standardized indoor air quality and filtration protocols within all of its facilities, and the current UF standards for air systems meet these guidance factors, including recommendations to:
- Increase the amount of outside air being delivered to spaces
- Use high-efficiency filtration (MERV-13 or above) in systems that circulate air between large numbers of spaces
- Maintain temperature and humidity levels within spaces
- Maintain appropriate maintenance and service
Additionally, according to the ASHRAE, “HVAC systems in most non-medical buildings play only a small role in infectious disease transmission, including COVID-19.”
UF epidemiologist Michael Lauzardo, MD, MSc, provided similar reassurance in last week’s town hall.
“In areas where there’s not what we call aerosol-generating procedures, the volume of virus that’s going to be in the air is not going to be sufficient to be able to go through an HVAC system and go to another part of the building,” explained Lauzardo. “That level of concern is only really for healthcare facilities. There’s been no evidence outside of healthcare facilities where that has been an issue.”