There’s no question that COVID-19 has changed the way we do business. Every industry and company have been impacted by this pandemic, with a long list of health and safety protocols that need to be followed. Failing to be proactive with health and safety could result in a temporary or permanent closure of your restaurant – which is why HVAC COVID requirements need to be followed at all times.
Many restaurants had to close doors for a while because of lockdowns and local limitations. Other restaurants were able to stay in business with limited services. For example, even if the dining rooms were closed, food was available for take-out or delivery. Restaurant owners have been creative about finding new ways to keep the customers coming, even when services are limited.
Now that we are returning to a “new normal,” what changes need to happen in your restaurant? Do you know the proper HVAC COVID strategies that need to be in place for the health and safety of your employees and customers? Our team at AirLogix understands the unique challenges you are facing in maintaining compliance in New York and New Jersey. We offer effective solutions to improve your HVAC system, and always stay up to date with the latest HVAC COVID requirements.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you are working on HVAC maintenance and compliance for your restaurant:
CDC AND ASHRAE GUIDELINES
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have established guidelines that should be followed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Even if you are maintaining social distancing requirements, it’s possible for airborne viruses to pass between customers and staff members. Here are a few things you should keep in mind to manage the potential exposure to infectious diseases:
- Increase Ventilation Rates: This can be done by opening windows for fresh air and optimizing HVAC performance. If the viral particles are moving through the air, then it’s important that you are proactive with both ventilation and filtration as much as possible. Talk to an HVAC specialist about increasing the effective dilution ventilation per person.
- Indoor Air Quality: The performance of your HVAC system will play a role in the quality of your air. Make sure the ventilation systems are operating properly. Since restaurants can have smoke and other cooking fumes in the air, you need to have an exhaust fan and a way to bring in the fresh outdoor air – which will improve indoor air quality.
- Central Air Filtration: The filtration in your central air system should be at the highest level compatible with your filter rack, preferably MERV-13 if possible. The edges of the filter should be sealed to limit bypass.
- Running the System: Increase the amount of time you are running the building system – hours before and after business hours. If possible, consider running the system 24/7 to enhance air exchange throughout the building.
It’s important to note that these are recommendations, which means that you have the option to put HVAC COVID priorities on the backburner. But if you are proactive with supporting good air ventilation in your restaurant, it could potentially impact your ability to keep the restaurant open in the future.
MANUAL VS AUTOMATED COMPLIANCE
Manual adjustments can be made on an as-needed basis, but you don’t have the time to focus on the HVAC system all the time. Instead, an optimal choice is to invest in automated solutions for HVAC COVID systems. Since the virus is widespread in many places, and we never know who could be a carrier, automated air conditioning systems with filtration are key to reduce airborne transmission.
You might have simple solutions to adjust your current HVAC and increase the filtration of the air. Or, it might be time to replace an outdated system so that you have the automated features necessary to ensure health and safety in your restaurant.
HOW CAN HVAC HELP RESTAURANTS NOW?
More than ever, an HVAC system gives you the protection and peace to know that you are doing your part to reduce the spread of this virus. If COVID-19 continues to spread in the community, it becomes harder to return to the safe, comfortable way of doing business that we had before the pandemic.
It might seem like an overwhelming situation to face these difficult decisions about your HVAC unit. Just because your current equipment seems to be running fine doesn’t mean that you are getting the ventilation and filtration benefits that are needed. The best solution is to talk to an expert for personalized recommendations. You can learn about your options, then let our experienced team take the lead.
Not only do we offer upgrades and new installation, but we support many restaurants with ongoing maintenance and preventive repairs. These efforts help your business stay open because you always have a reliable HVAC system to use.
ADVANTAGES OF COVID-19 COMPLIANT HVAC
If your HVAC systems aren’t compliant, is it worth the investment to install upgrades or a new system? Here are a few of the advantages every restaurant can get through HVAC COVID compliance:
- Minimize Outbreak: What will happen if a COVID-19 outbreak is connected to your restaurant? One positive test result among your employees could cause a domino effect that leads to the virus spreading to other team members. Poor ventilation is a problem since COVID-19 can be spread through the air. If you have an HVAC COVID compliant system, then it helps to pull the viral particles out of the air, which reduces the likelihood of an outbreak among your staff.
- Stay Open: Another potential domino effect from an outbreak is the possibility that you might have to close your doors temporarily. If the health department is concerned about the spread of illness in your restaurant, then you might be forced to close until you can implement new practices to provide a safe environment for employees and customers. Investing in good HVAC equipment doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to stay open indefinitely. But it increases the likelihood that you can minimize the risk of spreading the virus.
- Peace of Mind: How much stress are you feeling about the uncertainty of the future? Even though there are factors that are outside of your control, you can manage the details within your restaurant to improve health and safety for everyone inside. Installing a quality HVAC system is part of this process, to give you peace of mind in knowing that you are being proactive to do your part in protecting your staff – and the community.
- Quality Equipment: COVID might be the reason you finally decide to replace that old HVAC unit. If you’ve been limping along with an outdated HVAC system, then it’s an ideal time to invest in modern, safe solutions. We can help you compare the various options in the industry, giving you an HVAC COVID solution that matches your needs in the restaurant.
- Fresh Air: Smell plays a role in a person’s experience when they come to your restaurant. You need to have good ventilation systems so the dining space and other areas of the building don’t fill with smoke and unpleasant smells. A good HVAC system not only helps to protect against health risks, but the filters also remove other particles and bring fresh air into the building.
An HVAC system can’t fix everything, but it is an important piece of the puzzle in protecting people and minimizing the spread of disease in the workplace. In addition to investing in the right equipment, you also need to be proactive about following other COVID-19 safety practices such as social distancing, hand washing, and encouraging employees to stay home if they are feeling sick.
HOW AIRLOGIX CAN HELP YOUR RESTAURANT
If you are looking to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in your restaurant, then AirLogix is here to assist. Our team of HVAC experts invites you to schedule a consultation so you can learn more about your options.
Not only do we understand the requirements for health and safety, but we are also proactive in staying current with the latest technology and trends in the HVAC industry. We provide proven solutions for restaurants and other commercial buildings. You can have confidence in knowing that our systems will work to meet your unique needs.
Our personalized support means that you have access to a team that listens to your requests and provides one-of-a-kind recommendations. We will assess your restaurant, then create a plan that will help you maintain good indoor air quality, while also reducing the risk of COVID. As a result, your customers will feel comfortable coming back in the future, because they know that you are being careful to offer safety for everyone.
Additionally, we offer the ongoing support you need for maintenance and repair work. Our maintenance packages are designed to keep your HVAC system in top-notch condition, helping to minimize downtime and issues in the future.For more information about these HVAC COVID services, reach out to us at AirLogix to schedule a conversation. Not only will we answer your questions, but we’re glad to provide a personalized estimate to match your needs.