Aerobiology is the study of airborne microorganisms, pollen, spores, and seeds. Aerobiology includes the aerosolized transmission of disease, both through droplets and airborne means. Before COVID-19, aerobiology was interesting only to the people responsible for keeping buildings safe and healthy. With COVID-19, everybody is thinking about how safe and healthy their environments are, whether at home, at an office, in a grocery store or somewhere else.
In its paper “Aerobiology and Its Role in the Transmission of Infectious Diseases,” NIH reviews many of the aerobiological variables that impact the transmission of infectious diseases. We decided to do a broad-brush review of this wonderful article, ending with the role our fans play in keeping air in buildings safe. For the complete article, please visit National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Droplets vs. airborne microorganisms:
Droplets and airborne microorganisms are heterogeneous and can be generated from infectious people, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Because airborne particles can remain airborne for as long as one week, it’s important to do everything possible to prevent the spread of these infectious agents
How the environment influences airborne microorganisms travel
Temperature and humidity have a big influence on airborne microorganisms’ ability to travel and stay infectious. Generally, as temperatures rise, virus survival decreases.
A building’s HVAC system is a key factor in controlling the transmission and/or reduction of airborne microorganisms. HVAC systems provide for the health, comfort, and safety of occupants by maintaining thermal and air quality conditions that are acceptable to the occupants through energy-efficient and cost-effective methods. They control temperature, relative humidity and air currents. Viruses that are spread easily via airborne transmission can be brought into a building by infected individuals and potentially enter the return air system and be spread throughout a building by the HVAC system.
A typical HVAC system has three basic components:
- Outdoor air intake and air exhaust ducts and controls
- Air handling units (i.e., systems of fans, heating and cooling coils, air filters, and controls)
- Air distribution systems (i.e., air ducts, diffusers and controls, return and exhaust air collectors, grilles, and registers, return and exhaust air ducts and plenums).
At MacroAir, we are committed to work-environment safety and improving our customers lives. As the original inventors of large, industrial ceiling fans, we offer these features, which are designed to reduce the flow of airborne microorganisms.
Thorough air circulation
- Mixes trapped warm air from the ceiling with the cooler air below, helping to keep everyone comfortable
- Leads to more effective removal of pollutants
- Reduces the likelihood of experiencing “sick building syndrome”
Elevated air speeds
- Create a perceived cooling effect during warmer months, having a positive impact on productivity and employee morale