Home Forums COVID19 Hepa Filters from MCU

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    • rgould
      Participant
      Post count: 12

      Good day, I have spoken to a few from the group, just reaching out wondering what the consensus is around the HEPA filters that have been offered for ‘free’ from MCU.

      I have a number of concerns regarding long term maintenance, energy & filter costs, added work load, false sense of security, who is going to look after them in the classrooms that are correctly placed and turned on?

      Your thoughts are appreciated.

    • jcalvert
      Participant
      Post count: 3

      I agree with the same concerns, HEPA filters need to be sized to the square footage of a class room or portable class room with a minimum air exchanges per hour,
      – ensure that moving forward with these portable HEPA filters does not draw away from the fresh air purging and all the positive mechanical purging that are being
      done and working.
      – these portable HEPA filters do not become a placebo for the academic staff .
      – What is the saturation time on theses portable HEPA filters
      – If a student or academic staff becomes sick and portable HEPA filter are in placed in the room, what is the liability for the college and who is responsible for
      the answer for the design of engineered sizing?

    • Daniel Alonzo
      Keymaster
      Post count: 17

      Humber College has not utilized portable recirculating HEPA filtration units, but we’ve allowed our college community to bring their own if they choose. We’ve been able to address any concerns pertaining to the relationship of Covid-19 transmission and HVAC operations by talking to one of the points below.

      1. Ensure that the HVAC equipment provides sufficient Supply Air and Outside Air to the spaces. Use ASHRAE 62.1 as a reference.
      2. Maintain space temperatures (21-23 deg.C) and humidity (30-50% RH) levels as much as possible.
      3. Change the minimum filtration level at RTUs and AHUs at MERV 13 minimum
      4. Continue all Preventative Maintenance work and show proof when asked upon.
      5. Continue all cleaning and disinfection procedures at a higher frequency.

      Local recirculating HEPA filtration can definitely be a supplemental solution to a centralized HVAC system, but it has limitations. For one, replacing a dirty HEPA filter locally may require additional procedures and we argued that as long as we satisfy all the points above, there will be no need for a recirculating HEPA filter at the room level. I hope this helps.

    • lanchinguyenweekes
      Participant
      Post count: 20

      Hi. I have attached a link to the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force on Air filtration presentation. It contains some slide on portable air cleaners.

      https://www.ashrae.org/file%20library/technical%20resources/covid-19/ashrae-filtration_disinfection-c19-guidance.pdf

    • Hcolyn
      Participant
      Post count: 3

      Hi Everyone,

      I agree with all that has been said. I have the same concerns about this being a placebo effect. Mohawk has been pressured because our building on the McMaster campus has seen the McMaster faculty deploy HEPA filters (but only in 50% of their classrooms, very confusing). I have the same concerns about maintenance, placement, utilities, monitoring of actual effectiveness. Like most others, we’ve upgraded all our HVAC systems to MERV13 filters and increased filter replacement schedules. That along with regular coil cleaning, increased fresh air and CO2 monitoring has been our “canned response” when asked about HEPA filters. Having said all that I did order a few units (since they were free) for our Health Clinic that is doing booster shots and our on-site PCR/rapid testing areas. These areas have small examination rooms with frequent traffic so it couldn’t harm to scrub the air in those small spaces. No idea on delivery and with restrictions being rapidly lifted it will be a race to see if they arrive in time to being effectively deployed. We’ve been clear that we will not be deploying to any classrooms or employee areas, the amount we would need would be staggering.

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