March 30, 2020
Re: Winning The War Against COVID-19
To our valued clients, partners and colleagues:
The human race is experiencing one of the most serious challenges of modern history. Few were able to foresee the risk of a virus like COVID-19 to the world population and the speed at which a pathogen such as this could spread around the globe. Nevertheless, here we are in the midst of a war against an invisible enemy and it is time to focus the fight.
Our Team is Ready to Serve
Over our 39-year history, we have amassed valuable experience managing indoor environments for health, safety and productivity. Our first phase in this war on COVID-19 was to assure the safety of our Team so we can continue to serve you. We have the appropriate PPE and training to minimize exposure and our Teams are ready to roll. The HVAC service industry has been deemed an “essential service” in every State that currently has “shelter in place” orders including Maine and New Hampshire.
After this phase in the battle passes and people are returning to work, we will need to prepare buildings for the risks that will persist for months. If you wish to discuss feasibility of protecting your building occupants, please contact us so we can customize a program.
Availability of much of the devices and equipment needed has started to dwindle but there are still many measures that can happen immediately while we wait out lead times.
How Thayer is Fighting Back
Over the past several weeks we have been tireless and relentlessly studying everything we can learn about this virus and put together quite an armory of weapons to fight back. We have a significant and growing knowledge of COVID-19 modalities for spreading once inside the indoor occupied environment. The list of possible changes and improvements to the safety of occupants includes, but is not limited to the following:
• Increasing “dilution ventilation” rates
• Assuring or improving the quality of outdoor air used for ventilation
• Optimizing “economizer” operation
• Raising the indoor temperature and relative humidity levels
• Utilization of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI)
• Photocatalytic oxidation (PCO)
• Upgrading air filtration to trap airborne pathogens
• Controlling building pressurization
• Optimizing directional airflow
• Sanitizing HVAC systems, spaces and surfaces using powerful oxidizers
Not all of these measures are feasible or advised for all buildings, though proper maintenance of equipment, such as frequent filter changes, can go a long way in trapping pathogens removing them from the airstream.
Translating our Experience with IPM into Fighting COVID-19
Our Lifespring Microclimates division has been designing, installing and maintaining precision indoor cultivation environments for nearly six years now. Oddly enough, these skills and experience come together in fighting COVID-19.
One of the biggest challenges facing indoor organically grown crops is pest management. The comprehensive approach is called integrated pest management (IPM) . The best line of defense in a IPM program is assuring the pest cannot get to the crop in the first place through engineered systems that either kill the pest(s) or prevent it from entering the environment. The comparison to human-occupied environments during this pandemic are quite similar. Our best line of defense is to prevent or minimize human exposure to the pathogen. Social distancing, quarantines, and PPE are all tools to minimize the pathways that may connect the pathogen to the new host. With the addition of measures regarding HVAC equipment, we can further minimize exposure of the pathogen to our building environments .
I personally make two promises to you. The first is that we will remain tireless in our quest to continue learning, sharing and serving you. The second is that we will not suggest any measure that has not been fully vetted and scientifically verifiable. We can share the data and science as appropriate.
We are “in it to win it“, as the saying goes, and together we will prevail.
Dan Thayer, P.E.
President & CEO
Certified Indoor Air Quality Professional