Let’s face it: the only constant these days is change. In some cases, change is a bad thing. Especially when comes to changing employees due to concerns of air quality. Constant turnover of your labor force leads to increased costs for hiring, training, and retaining those employees. Who wants that?! Can anything be done? Yes indeed, and while it involves more change, it’s the kind we can all live with. I’m talking about air changes!
In these times of COVID-19, a higher standard of air quality has become essential. Therefore, getting the right amount of fresh air moving through your facility is vital. It’s no longer just about comfort and productivity. Health and safety concerns now rule the day.
So, how do you accurately calculate your ventilation needs? It starts by determining the rate at which you need to completely replenish the volume of air in a given room. This is known as an air turnover (or air change) rate, and is usually expressed as minutes per air change (although it can sometimes be seen as “number of air changes per hour”). The number of air changes needed ultimately depends on the type of facility or the work being done in a particular area. For example, a typical warehouse should have an air change approximately every 7 minutes, though this can vary between 4 and 10 minutes. By contrast, a welding room needs to replenish its air at a rate of every 3 minutes to protect employees against heat buildup and noxious fumes.
Once the air change rate is determined, we can proceed with our calculation. For purposes of this article, we’ll make the math easy (because….hey….who doesn’t love easy math?!). Let’s say you have a 100’ x 100’ building with a 10’ ceiling height. Based on the work being done, we’ve decided on an air change every 5 minutes. Your calculation would look like this:
100’ x 100’ x 10’ = 100,000 ft3 = 20,000 CFM
5 minutes 5 minutes
Based on our calculation above, you would need to move 20,000 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM) through your facility in order to achieve a complete air change every 5 minutes.
Still not exactly certain of your ventilation needs? Why not call Patterson? They have the people and the products like supply and exhaust fans to help solve your ventilation mystery! You’ll be a hero to your employees, and the talk of the industrial park!
THE AUTHORITY IN AIR MOVEMENT
Air Movement Guru & Man of Wisdom
Easter is so disappointing. You suffer all the way through lent, and what do you get for it? A ham.
- Garrison Keillor