COVID Related HVAC Operations Plan: 2021-2022

Aug. 24, 2021 

There are many types of HVAC systems located on the Kutztown University campus. While these systems are numerous and varied, they were professionally designed to the standards in place at the time. Because of the variance in the systems and their modes of operation, the adjustments that can be made to the systems in response to COVID-19 will vary as well. 

The COVID Related HVAC Operations Plan for 2021-2022, first implemented in July 2020 in response to COVID-19, was developed based upon CDC guidance and recommendations. 

Kutztown University conducted a campus-wide HVAC IAQ study Sept. 28, 2020, prepared by Entech Engineering, Inc. The primary finding of this report was that the Kutztown University Facilities Management "COVID Related HVAC Operations Plan" meets or exceeds compliance with currently available federal, state and local requirements related to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID) for building occupancy. 

KU Facilities Management has taken the following actions to reduce the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19: 

  1. All HVAC systems operate maintaining the use of occupied/unoccupied programming features. To improve ventilation, run times for the occupied cycle have been adjusted so that systems remain in operation for two hours before scheduled occupancy begins and two hours after scheduled occupancy ends. This provides a pre- and post-occupancy ventilation purge of buildings. 
  2. Where possible, during occupied cycles, minimum outside air ventilation rates will be increased to allow the introduction of the maximum amount of outside air without compromising building temperature and humidity conditions. 
  3. Where feasible, filtration efficiency has been increased to MERV 13, or best possible, without compromising system design parameters or disrupting design air flows. 

KU Facilities does not recommend opening windows, doors, or other openings to the outside. Doing so could: 

  • Adversely affect indoor air conditions and pose a health risk to employees in the building. 
  • Promote mold growth inside the building. 
  • Allow pests and insects to enter the building. 

Facilities Management will continue to monitor new guidance and will adjust protocols accordingly.