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Air Balancing to Achieve Proper Air Circulation in the Office, Business, or Retail Space

If you need air balancing assistance discussed in this article, call us at 973-366-4660 or e-mail us at info@atlenv.com for details and a free estimate.

Written By:  Robert E. Sheriff, MS, CIH, CSP, President
August 14, 2020; August 2021

Air Balancing to Achieve Proper Air Circulation in the Office, Business, or Retail SpaceAir Balancing to Achieve Proper Air Circulation in the Office, Business, or Retail Space

ASHRAE has set guidelines for the amount of air circulation in a workspace in the document:  ANSC/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2016 titled, “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.”

This document referred to as “ASHRAE 62” is intended to “specify minimum ventilation rates and other measures intended to provide indoor air quality (IAQ) that is acceptable to human occupants and that minimizes adverse health effects.”

The Standard 62 sets a recommended level of outdoor air for a wide variety of different types of building occupancy:

For example:

Occupancy Category CFM/Person (of Outdoor Air)
Daycare 10
School Classroom 10
Lecture Hall 7.5
Restaurant Dining Room 7.5
Kitchen – Cooking 7.5
Conference Room 5
Hotel Bedroom 5
Hotel Lobbies 7.5
Office Space 5
Breakrooms 5
Banks or Bank Lobbies 7.5
Places of Religious Worship 5
Retail Mall – Common Areas 7.5
Gym – (Play Area) 20
Health Club – Aerobics Room 20
Gambling Casinos 7.5
Occupancy Category CFM/Person (of Outdoor Air)
Daycare 10
School Classroom 10
Lecture Hall 7.5
Restaurant Dining Room 7.5
Conference Room 5
Hotel Bedroom 5
Office Space 5
Breakrooms 5
Banks or Bank Lobbies 7.5
Places of Religious Worship 5
Retail Mall – Common Areas 7.5
Gym – (Play Area) 20
Health Club – Aerobics Room 20
Gambling Casinos 7.5

 

The Standard 62 also recommends the maximum occupancy density per 1000 ft2.

 

For example:

 

Occupancy Category Occupant Density/1000 ft2
Classroom – Ages 5-8 years old

Classroom – Ages 9 plus

25

35

Restaurant Dining Room

Breakrooms

70

50

Office Space 5
Reception Areas 30
Courtrooms 70
Supermarket 8
Gym – (Play Area) 7
Spectator Area – Gym 150

These limits were set under normal occupant conditions.  The current COVID-19 conditions must be considered at present.

 

The consensus under these unusual circumstances must be considered the minimum levels with the ideal situation is double these recommended levels or the maximum allowable amount of outside air that the system can achieve while still maintaining the proper level of heat or air conditioning to achieve 68°F to 75°F.

 

Measurement of the amount of air circulation can be achieved by using proper ventilation measurement equipment.  For office diffusers, the best instrument to use is a BALOMETER—a diffuser device that can be placed on a ceiling, wall, or floor and will directly measure the CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air being supplied or exhausted from the space.  Then, any air changes per hour (ACH) that occur can be calculated and the CFM/person can also be determined.

Other types of measurement equipment are used to directly measure the supply and exhaust of air handling systems as well, such as a velometer or Thermo anemometer.

There are also recommended levels of ACH for a variety of spaces.

 

For example:

 

Building/Room ACH
Auditorium 8 – 15
Beauty Shops 6 – 10
Classrooms 6 – 20
Kitchens 15 – 60
Machine Shops 6 – 12
Paint Shops 15 – 20
Warehouses 6 – 30
Malls 6 – 10

 

 

Air balancing can be performed when a space is not occupied (as long as the air handlers can be adjusted to occupancy levels) or during occupancy.

Total air movement in an office building or, manufacturing, warehouse, or retail space can also be measured.

 

SPECIAL NOTE:  Our reason for evaluating HVAC systems is to address the health and safety concerns of the occupants.  We do not claim to be specialists in the operation and maintenance of such systems!

 

Please contact our main office for details –973-366-4660, email info@atlenv.com or simply fill out our secure online form to learn more about Air Balancing to Achieve Proper Air Circulation in the Office, Business, or Retail Space

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