The WVU Facilities Management team is committed to providing a safe learning, working and living environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors.
To effectively manage the University’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to follow guidance from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Air Filtration Association. In general, this guidance fits the following categories:
Increase the amount of outside air being introduced when appropriate.
Utilize high-efficiency filtration where circulated air is utilized.
Continually maintain prescribed temperature and humidity levels.
We have increased the amount of outside air to the highest levels possible while still maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity levels. We have completed spot checks and will continue to monitor carbon dioxide (CO2) levels at random locations. CO2 level can serve as an effective indicator of how much fresh air is being introduced into spaces.
Our findings indicate we are getting as many as 15 air changes per hour. Doors and windows should be kept closed to aid in the proper operation of balanced ventilation systems. Further, adding unfiltered outside air can create additional problems (e.g., mold, pollen, spores, etc.).
We also have changed all air filters in air handling units. We previously utilized MERV-8 air filtration; however, we are in the process of upgrading to MERV-13. Further increases in MERV rating were not appropriate due to issues such as design criteria of the equipment.
Unless special circumstances exist, we have adjusted HVAC systems to keep temperatures between 68- and 76-degrees Fahrenheit with relative humidity between 50% and 60% where possible. Students, faculty and staff should contact Facilities Management when temperatures fall outside of this range.
Note: Constant adjustment to the HVAC systems occur (either manually or via automated systems) as weather conditions change.
Although the University has enacted several safety measures to protect against COVID-19, it is important that every member of our campus community to practice the following:
Continue to follow WVU’s requirement to wear a mask/cloth face covering in public spaces on campus or when in the presence of others.
Follow the three “Cs” – avoid close continuous contact with others, crowds and close spaces.
Practice good hygiene, including washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
WVU will continue to follow guidance from public health officials and government agencies in regard to our cleaning and safety measures. Based on this guidance, the University will continue to explore innovative and additional cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting technologies and processes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.