Infection prevention and control (IPC) measures to protect personnel, patients and visitors are well-established by laboratories, clean rooms and multitudes of other public and private entities. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and ASHRAE COVID-19 guidance, many are upgrading engineering controls for their facilities and refining strategies to remove hazards through air ventilation.
Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) managers are currently retrofitting laboratories with airflow monitors, in support of their airborne precautions processes. Exhaust ventilation rates for occupied and unoccupied conditions are established and monitored (reference ANSI/AIHA/ASSE Z9.5 Laboratory Ventilation):
- The airflow monitor’s display allows occupants to check the status of a room’s air change rate, and other airflow parameters, at any time.
- With data files generated from airflow monitors, facilities personnel can quantify ventilation and optimize ventilation rates.
- Laboratory airflow control system (LACS) issues are identified early.
Know the Air Change Rate for Your Space
Knowing and monitoring air change rates for your spaces helps to maintain safe and healthy environments and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Air changes per hour (ACH) is essentially the volume of air the HVAC system can provide in an hour, divided by the volume of the room. Typically, CFM is converted to CFH and then divided by room volume to determine ACH.
To determine air changes per hour for a space, measure air velocity using a DegreeC probe style air velocity and temperature sensor mounted in duct, and then use the air changes formula.
Alternatively, use DegreeC’s Rooster™ Monitor200 with duct mounted air velocity sensor to measure and display the air volume added to, or removed from, a space. The Monitor200 is BACNet® MS/TP capable which allows for easy integration into building management systems and remote monitoring of ACH and other critical airflow parameters.
The Rooster™ is ideal for monitoring airflow safety of fume hoods and biosafety cabinets as well. It is a reliable way to achieve OSHA or NSF-49/ANSI compliance.
Degree Controls designs and manufactures airflow & thermal management solutions needed for safety, efficiency, and quality. As you work to review and revise your laboratory airflow control systems, please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions and feedback about airflow sensing, monitoring and control products. Take good care, and thank you for your dedicated work.