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COVID guidance for ventilation systems reviewed

The National Association of Air Duct Specialists UK (NAADUK) has reviewed and updated its guidance document for its members and all building managers.

Peter Reid, president of NAADUK

The 2ndReview gives further clarification and understanding of the importance of ventilation and ventilation systems to help fight against the coronavirus.

It is now acknowledged worldwide and by Government that a clean ventilation system assists in keeping the indoor air quality free from airborne infections. Equally, waste systems within buildings also have an impact on the airborne infection and further guidance is documented in the guidance.

On 25 August 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) document – COVID-19 Management in hotels and other entities of the accommodation sector interim guidance states: -

'Ventilation and air conditioning. Ventilation is an important factor in preventing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

One of the 12 points raised by the WHO document is: 'If HVAC systems are used, they should be regularly inspected, maintained, and cleaned. Rigorous standards for installation and maintenance of ventilation systems are essential to ensure that they are effective and safe. Attention should be given, as in normal circumstances, to monitoring the condition of filters and, if possible, increasing the central air filtration as high as possible without significantly diminishing design airflow.'

It also recommends that consultation with a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional should be carried out.

This guidance is supplementary to all government guidelines in relation to social distancing, hand washing, essential travel and staying at home, etc.

The scope is limited to commercial and public buildings such as offices, factories, schools and hotels where normal social transmission is possible. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are excluded due to the higher risk of contact with COVID-19 and the specialised work procedures required.

Peter Reid, president of NAADUK, said: “It is crucial that the spread of the coronavirus can be reduced by maximising a clean ventilation system. However, anecdotal evidence proves that many systems are not clean to relevant standards.

'We encourage all our members to promote to their clients the importance of cleaning and maintaining the ventilation systems on a regular basis.”

The 2ndReview guidance note is available freely on the NAADUK website at


15 October 2020


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