Can I use my air conditioning system?

Is it safe?

If your system has not been used for months, this is an important question.

One of the big unanswered questions when reopening and putting systems back into service is: “Is it safe (or advisable) to use my air conditioning in my office or workplace?” Am I putting my colleagues at risk and will that do more harm than good? ‘

The simple answer is “maybe”.

The more detailed answer is presented in the infographic below.

There are a few things to remember if the chart is not for you.

1. One person in an office with air conditioning without fresh air entering the system.

  • Operate the system as usual by turning it off when the office is not busy. Restrict access by others while it is busy.

2. More than one person in an office adhering to social distancing guidelines with air conditioning without fresh air entering the system.

  • Open the windows to ventilate the space as much as possible. Do not use the air conditioning system.

3. One person in an office with air conditioning with fresh air entering the system.

  • Operate the system as usual by turning it off when the office is not busy.

4. More than one person in an office adhering to social distancing guidelines with air conditioning with fresh air entering the system.

Andy morgan

Andy morgan

  • Open the windows to ventilate the space as much as possible. Operate the air conditioning system according to the following recommendations:
  • Reduce the speed of the air conditioning fan.
  • Run the system 24/7.
  • Clean areas between shifts.
  • Switch systems to full heat for 1 hour after each shift.

5. An air conditioning system without supply of fresh air that supplies more than one single occupancy room

  • Lock all parts except one. In the only occupied room, operate the system as usual by turning it off when the office is not occupied. Restrict access by others while it is busy.

6. An air conditioning system with fresh air inlet that supplies more than one single occupancy room

  • Operate the system as usual by turning it off when the office is not busy.

7. A non-fresh air conditioning system that supplies more than one room with multiple occupancy and adheres to social distancing guidelines

  • Open the windows to ventilate the space as much as possible. Do not use the air conditioning system.

8. An air conditioning system with fresh air intake that supplies more than one room with multiple occupancy and adheres to social distancing guidelines

  • Open the windows to ventilate the space as much as possible. Operate the air conditioning system according to the following recommendations:
  • Reduce the speed of the air conditioning fan.
  • Run the system 24/7.
  • Clean areas between shifts.
  • Switch systems to full heat for 1 hour after each shift.

9. Air conditioning systems in rooms with essential processes (server and telecommunications rooms, etc.)

  • Use these systems as usual with the following recommendations:
  • Restrict access to essential users only
  • Introduce control measures, including access time limits.
  • Run 24/7

There will be situations where the above recommendations cannot be followed, in this situation you will need to perform a risk assessment on the room including the occupants of the room before deviating from the recommendations. We suggest that these risk assessments be recorded and signed by the occupants as acceptable.

Andy Morgan is Air Conditioning Manager at Kimpton

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