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Why HVAC systems are more important in the time of COVID-19?

Publication Date : 2022-07-08

Keywords: HVAC

​​​​​​By Golshid Noori Dolooee


What does HVAC mean?

In summary, "Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is the use of various technologies to control the temperature, humidity, and purity of the air in an enclosed space" [1]. The heating and cooling of your home are performed by this system. It includes products such as furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, as well as ductwork, thermostats, and other comfort controls.


Why is HVAC important?

"HVAC improves air quality in the building, to make it appropriate for human breathing and comfort. It reduces humidity so that the occupants can enjoy a better atmosphere. HVAC is specifically used in buildings or underground spaces where ventilation is limited" [2].


Where is HVAC used?

HVAC is an important part of any internal modern residential structure. Homes, hotels, apartments, industrial, and office buildings use this system to improve their air condition. It is interesting to know that even ships and submarines leverage this system [3].


Which HVAC system is best for your home?

Numerous factors affect choosing the right size AC unit for every home. Size, number of floors, number of windows, age of the house, insulation, etc., are some of the factors considered. We encourage you to consult with an HVAC expert during your shopping process to make sure everything will be done correctly [4].


When to replace HVAC?

Heating and cooling systems are large investments, so it makes sense to get the most out of them. The average HVAC system should last between 10 and 25 years, however, depending on the type, location, and other factors, that estimate can be highly variable. It is better to keep in mind that no matter how well you maintain an HVAC system, eventually even the best boilers, furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners today will wear out over time [5].


Who is officially responsible for the inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems in Canada?

According to the official website, "every HVAC system installed on or after the day of the coming into force of this section shall meet the design requirements of ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, entitled Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, as amended from time to time" [6]. Meanwhile, CSA – the Canadian Standards Association – provides special requirements for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning in health care facilities based on ASHRAE Standards in Canada.


Why HVAC systems is more important these days?

Continuing the topic of HVAC systems, we discuss the role of HVAC systems, humidity, airflow, and CO2 in COVID-19 transmission.



Although COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through close contact (*2 meters) with an infected individual, it can also be transmitted over longer distances under favorable conditions. The risk increases with increasing time spent in crowded, poorly ventilated, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Moreover, exercising can cause heavy breathing, screaming, and singing can all raise the risk, especially when done indoors by eliminating and diluting virus-laden particles from indoor air, and improved indoor air quality through ventilation and flirtation aids; hence, the role of HVAC systems is becoming very prominent in this regard.

On the other hand, to improve the HVAC systems, they must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. A specialist should assess and adapt an HVAC system because there are frequently building-specific issues and potential unintended effects to consider[7].


The importance of ventilation and COVID-19

These days, as the spread of the Corona Virus is diminished, most industries are repairing and improving their economic conditions. It should be noted that carrying out activities in this situation should always be accompanied by some tips to prevent the re-emergence of the Corona Virus. In this case and related to HVAC systems, the filtration and ventilation aspects of an indoor air quality improvement strategy are critical because they exhaust and absorb gases, vapor, and airborne particles such as virus-containing dust and aerosols. By removing these particles through HVAC systems, you can dilute their concentration in indoor air and reduce occupant exposure [8].


Help reduce the spread of COVID-19

Dr. Theresa Tam, @CPHO_Canada. Feb 13, 2022


It should be mentioned that there is limited evidence that recirculated air is a means of transmission of Covid-19 and no reports of centralized HVAC systems causing a building-wide outbreak have been identified; however, in general, limiting recirculation and introducing fresh air with the help of HVAC systems would reduce viral particles in indoor air [9]. Several studies on ventilation-related factors demonstrate the risk of inadequate ventilation indoors as well as studies that document transmission under circumstances of likely inadequate ventilation, as discussed below.

In a cluster in Slovenia in early 2020, when COVID-19 had not yet expanded throughout the community, the matching partner of a squash player who became ill the night after their match, and two subsequent pairs playing on the same court both fell ill three to six days later with four testing positive for COVID-19. The first pair had already left the facility when the second pair arrived. Despite the possibility of transmission through families, this investigation suggests transmission through the persistence of aerosols in poorly ventilated spaces [10]. This is just one case study represents in general that indicates situations where poor ventilation of non-optimized HVAC systems, and exposure time may have contributed to the transmission.



COVID-19 prevention is determined by a variety of treatments that fluctuate in their effectiveness and practicality from day to day. The main concept is to consistently practice as many measures as possible. In situations where it is not possible to increase outdoor air ventilation, viruses can be reduced by minimizing occupancy in a space[11]. You can also reduce exposure by avoiding confined spaces, close contact, and being in another person's direct path[12][13]. Furthermore, air quality improvement strategies can reduce virus particle concentration in the air. As a result, most recommendations advocate using outdoor air as much as possible (i.e., minimizing recirculation) and maintaining clean filters[12][14]. Meanwhile, if the assessment and adjustments of the HVAC systems are best handled by an expert, you will have the best possible HVAC systems because there are often specific building issues that need to be addressed.


Choose the right one!

Acetake Group will help you design and implement you HVAC system per your requirements. Do you want to know what services we offer? Please check our Mechanical Engineering and HVAC Services.

Do you need more information? Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions via email at or via telephone at +1 (800) 388 – 7569 or send us a message on our contact page.





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Public Health Ontario , "Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems in Buildings and COVID-19," 19 March 2021. [Online]. Available:


S. M, "Canadian Committee on Indoor Air Quality. Addressing COVID-19 in buildings: module 15," Canadian Committee on Indoor Air Quality, Ottawa, ON, 2020.


Lu J, Gu J, Li K, Xu C, Su W, Lai Z, et al, "COVID-19 outbreak associated with air conditioning in restaurant," vol. 26(7), pp. 1628-31, 2020.


Brlek A, Vidovič Š, Vuzem S, Turk K, Simonović Z, " Possible indirect transmission of COVID-19 at a squash court, Slovenia," Epidemiol Infect, 2020.


C. f. D. C. a. Prevention, "COVID-19: ventilation in buildings," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 2021.


I. n. d. s. p. d. Québec, " Transmission du SRAS-CoV-2: constats et proposition de terminologie," Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Québec, 2021.


W. H. Organization, "Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection prevention precautions," scientific brief , Geneva, 2020.


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