Many people in Long Island have been looking forward to getting back to the gym. One of the last businesses to reopen, gyms have been given a list of protocols that they must follow to open successfully. In addition to proper sanitization, mask-wearing, and social distancing rules, regulations, and considerations, the air handling systems in gyms are also subject to the new guidelines.
While it can be confusing to know what, exactly, is needed per state mandates, there are a few items that are requirements rather than suggestions. Per the NYS website, “… Responsible Parties must ensure central HVAC system filtration meets the highest rated filtration compatible with the currently installed filter rack and air handling system, at a minimum MERV-13, or industry equivalent or greater, as applicable.”
So, what does that mean?
As we discussed last month, MERV ratings indicate the ability of a filter to remove particulates from the air. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective it is at removing a variety of contaminants, including dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and viruses. Therefore, having a filter with a higher MERV level installed in a system can help remove more of the bad stuff from the air. In places like gyms, where there is more potential for airborne bacteria and viruses to move through the air, advanced filtration is one measure that can help keep the air cleaner.
New York State also suggests, but does not require, increased rates of outdoor air ventilation, system testing and balancing as needed, regular system inspection, installation of appropriately designed ultraviolet (UV) systems, and installation of air cleaners. These are steps gyms can take to ensure even better indoor air quality.
How do I know if my gym complies with the regulations?
For reopening purposes, gyms needed to affirm their obligation to operate per NYS guidelines. If you have any questions at all, you should feel free to discuss them with the gym owner or manager.
I own a gym and would like to learn more about improving our air quality.
At T.F. O’Brien, we take the health and safety of our commercial clients, their employees, and their patrons very seriously. We can help you ensure your system complies with NYS regulations. And, we can work with you on system improvements that can further ensure that your facility’s air quality is the best possible for your employees and clients. To learn more, give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we will be more than happy to assist you.