The coronavirus has been a catalyst for change throughout nearly every facet of our lives. From inspiring us to bake bread or try a new hobby, to canceling vacation plans and postponing momentous celebrations, COVID-19 has shaken our society to its core.
In addition to lifestyle alterations, the pandemic has also impacted the way businesses operate. Companies have been forced to quickly pivot their business strategies and implement policies designed to minimize the transmission of the virus. For example, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends reducing or eliminating the recirculation of air by HVAC systems. Prior to COVID-19, HVAC systems recirculated approximately 85% of the air in buildings. Now, the CDC encourages facility managers to increase fresh airflow to as much as 100%.
Why Should We Eliminate Air Recirculation?
From a health standpoint, eliminating recirculated air makes a lot of sense. The coronavirus spreads through airborne droplets released from an infected person’s respiratory tract through their nose or mouth. Actions such as coughing, sneezing, and even talking can release these respiratory droplets into the air. When air is stagnant or the same air is recirculated, the risk of transmitting the virus increases. Conversely, if the HVAC system pumps in fresh air, dissipating the respiratory particles, the likelihood of the virus spreading decreases.
Wear & Tear on HVAC Systems
The downside of eliminating air recirculation is that doing so reduces the energy efficiency of a building by augmenting the strain on its HVAC system. Recirculating air offers the most energy-efficient model for cooling a space. Cooling previously-cooled air requires less energy than pulling in scorching summer air and working to lower its temperature by twenty-five degrees. The more strain your HVAC system experiences, the higher your energy bill will rise. Additionally, your HVAC maintenance costs will increase because the system is more likely to break down more frequently.
So is that what our future holds? Astronomically high energy bills just to maintain a comfortable interior temperature without risking our health?
Energy-Saving Solution: Window Film
Fortunately, window film can help offset some of the increased wear and tear on HVAC systems brought on by changes in building regulations due to COVID-19. This spectrally-selective film filters the sun’s rays, reducing heat transmission through the glass by up to 60%. By blocking up to 97% of the sun’s infrared light, window film reduces the likelihood that your HVAC system will go into overdrive to maintain a comfortable interior temperature.
With all of the changes brought by COVID-19, let’s not add higher energy bills to that list. While we all strive to do our part to stop the spread of the virus, it’s important to think creatively and strategically to minimize the negative effects of the pandemic in other aspects of our lives. Utilizing window film to alleviate some of the strain on HVAC systems brought on by changes in ventilation regulations is one of those creative and strategic solutions. What’s more, some window film manufacturers, like 3M™, deliver a payback period of 3-5 years!
Locally owned and operated in Richmond, Virginia, for over 35 years, Solar Film helps homeowners throughout central Virginia, Williamsburg, and the Northern Neck find their ideal window tinting solution. We use premium quality 3M™ materials for temperature control, glare reduction, UV protection, privacy, and security window film solutions. As a 3M™ Authorized Dealer and a member of the Prestige Dealer Network, we offer the highest quality window film products on the market. Get in touch with us today for a free quote!