COVID Outside Air Ventilation Load Calculator: Understand Your HVAC Limits

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Outside Air Ventilation Load Calculator for COVID-19 Mitigation

ASHRAE’s guidance for operating buildings during the COVID era encourages building operators to adjust their outside airflow intake rate (OA %) as much as their cooling and heating systems can handle, up to 100% if possible.

We developed this quick analysis tool to help building operators across the U.S. understand the impact of modifying the OA % will have on their building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems before making changes.

By following the simple steps within the tool, users can adjust their OA % and observe space conditioning (cooling and heating) limitations based on outdoor air temperatures. The video below provides step-by-step instructions.

Enter your email below to download the tool. You can also find additional COVID resources here.

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    How to Use the Calculator

    Need assistance preventing the spread of COVID in your workplace, school or public building?

    Additional Information

    Tool Inputs

    This calculator tool uses a few basic building inputs to determine the design cooling and heating conditions. These inputs include:

    1. Design outside airflow rate (% of supply air flow). This can be found in your mechanical drawings, test and balance (TAB) reports, or commissioning documentation, among other places.
    2. Reference City. Select the reference city closest to your building location. You can check the ASHRAE Climate Zone map in the tool to check which climate zone your building falls into (2A, 3C, etc.).
    3. Building Schedule. Input your typical weekly schedule to narrow the analysis down to the hours that matter most (when your HVAC systems are running!). The tool does not account for pre-cooling or pre-heating your building to help meet loads – a strategy that could be used to help expand the operating hours somewhat.
    4. Cooling Design Scenario – Max Dry Bulb vs Max Wet Bulb. Cooling systems are designed to handle either the maximum expected outdoor air temperatures or the maximum dehumidification load for your climate zone (max wet bulb).
      Our calculator automatically uses the default design scenario for your given climate zone, but users can override the default to align the calculator with their particular building’s design. If you don’t know whether your cooling system is designed for maximum dry bulb temperature or maximum wet bulb temperature, then we recommend leaving this selection as the default.

    Balancing Safety, Comfort & Energy

    COVID-19 Spread Indoors Risk Ventilation Load Calculator Workplace Buildings

    Increasing outside airflow into a building, especially when it is hot, cold, or humid outside, could make it uncomfortable if the HVAC systems can’t “keep up.” This can lead to conditions that allow viruses, like coronavirus, to live longer in the air. Read more about using this tool for effective building operations mitigating COVID.

    California Only Tool

    The previous version of the Outside Air Ventilation Load tool has only California weather data which includes more granular climate zone data. Enter your email to download the CA version below.

      Please enter your email:*

      I am interested in updates on:

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      ventilation prevent covid19 hvac safe building operation outside air tool impact calculatordownload hvac recommendations kw engineering consultants

      Need assistance preventing the spread of COVID in your workplace, school or public building?