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HVAC companies busy upgrading as COVID-19 numbers spike

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jul 16, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, its that the air we breath is precious and can be filled with an invisible killer.

And now, heating and cooling system upgrades are now becoming more of a priority as indoor spaces begin to reopen.

Local companies say fears of the coronavirus spreading indoors has many businesses and customers questioning their own H-VAC systems.

“Yeah yeah, we cant keep up,” said Rich Colby, a licensed technician for A-OK Mechanical.

A- OK Mechanical says more of their clients are asking upgrades to their heating and cooling systems as more being to reopen.

“We got a call the other day from a clinic where families plan for child birth and they have to have their ac properly functioned and have to have clean air in there,” explained Jim Bennett, an HVAC Consultant and Adjunct Faculty for LCC’s HVAC Department.

Businesses are now leaning towards options that can sanitize the air, like HEPA filters and U-V Light systems.

“The UV-light kills the different germs that are going through that system, sanitizing the air and keeping it fresh,” said Colby.

But these upgrades aren’t cheap and can be hard for businesses that are already struggling to say afloat.

“It costs much much more,” said Matt Dunham, LCC professor with the HVAC program.

And now experts are finding that just upgrading the filter might not be as effective if there is not enough power to move the air through it.

“It’s like a pick up truck trying to pull a semi trailer,” explained Dunham. “It might pull it, but it’s too much of a load for that truck in its design and the same thing is true with most HVAC systems.

Duhnam believes prioritizing air ventilation isn’t going away anytime soon, in fact, it’s just going to get greater.

“You are going to see a change in the baseline standards in what is considered in the minimum of filtration and ventilation and purification that you need to do, which means the cost is going to go up.

Duhman also believes going forward that more knowledge will be needed by businesses owners servicing the HVAC systems to understand how to keep up with its effectiveness.

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