The West Virginia University Facilities Management team is committed to providing a safe learning, working and living environment for students, faculty, staff and campus visitors.
That’s why we have taken several measures throughout the last year to effectively manage the University’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning 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 Prevention 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 also 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 filters in air handling units. We previously used MERV-8 air filtration; however, we are in the process of upgrading units to MERV-13 filtration, which is the highest possible rating compatible with our existing HVAC equipment.
Unless special circumstances exist, we have adjusted HVAC systems to keep temperatures between 68 and 76 degrees with relative humidity between 50% and 60% where possible. Students, faculty and staff should contact Facilities Management when temperatures fall outside this range.
Note: Constant adjustments to the HVAC systems occur (either manually or via automated systems) as weather conditions change.
The Facilities Management team will continue to follow guidance from public health officials and government agencies in regard to air filtration and our cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting technologies and processes.
Visit the Return to Campus website for more information. Contact Facilities and Services at FacilitiesandServices@mail.wvu.edu with any questions.