As guardians of the indoor air we breathe, HVAC contractors and technicians stand alongside public health workers in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19). As with the SARS outbreak in 2003, the airborne nature of the new coronavirus (part of the same family of viruses as SARS) puts the epidemic — and its prevention and containment — front and center for HVAC professionals.

Contractors can take steps to cut down on airborne transmission.

For concerned clients, the priority will be keeping their employees, their facilities, and their families safe. Contractors should be aware of what the available technologies are and represent them in an honest and transparent way while noting that disease prevention cannot be solved by HVAC alone.

“You can’t guarantee that because you’ve installed a certain product, you’ve prevented infections from occurring, because there are multiple ways that they can be transmitted,” said William Bahnfleth, ASHRAE presidential member. “If I were a contractor, I’d be prepared to suggest to a homeowner other things they might do that are not necessarily HVAC-related that would reduce infection risk.”

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