What can the hospitality sector do?

Hospitality has been particularly hard-hit by COVID19. It’s by no means out of the woods yet, but there is now more cause for optimism.

With a vaccine apparently on its way, 2021 may see a return to normality, or at least something close to it. Hospitality does, however, still need to navigate this winter. Here to explain further, Dominic, Director of Chill Air Conditioning Ltd shares his pointers for businesses to take on board.

Effective ventilation is a must

Technically, effective ventilation has always been a must in places of employment. It’s particularly important in commercial kitchens as it both cools and cleans the air. Now, however, it has taken on a whole new level of importance to keep staff and patrons safe from COVID19.

Effective ventilation means providing a supply of fresh air

It has long been established that continually reusing the same air can lead to health problems. COVID19 essentially just exacerbates a known issue. Unfortunately, at present, there is no clear government guidance on what level of ventilation provides sufficient protection against COVID19. Fortunately, there is a loose precedent.

Before smoking was banned in public spaces, the guidance was to replace the air in the room every 8 minutes. It would therefore seem reasonable to assume that this is an appropriate minimum standard for protecting against COVID19. Obviously, if your ventilation system can replace the air more frequently, then it would be highly advisable to do so.

Achieving this may require you to review the settings on your air conditioning system. Air conditioning systems are increasingly being designed to monitor the resources they use and to adjust them to the perceived need without human intervention. This is great most of the time, as it can save a lot of energy (and hence money) but for now, it’s a health risk.

Remember your windows and doors

If you’re in a building with windows which can open, open them as much as you can. Likewise, if you have doors which open to the outside world, keep them open as much as possible.

Admittedly, there’s probably going to be a limit to how much you can do this at any time, especially in winter. You also have to keep security in mind. All the same, opening doors and windows is an easy and effective way to let in the fresh air. So if you can do it safely, then you generally should.

Keep in mind that air needs to circulate

Your social-distancing measures will probably take care of this. It is, however, still advisable to check that your fresh air really is circulating effectively through the room. As a rule of thumb, the fewer physical items you have in a room, the easier it will be for the air to flow. So, ideally, you want to remove anything non-essential from the room or at least keep it to the wall area.

If your air circulation needs a bit of a boost, then basic fans might be all you need to fix the problem. Fans don’t provide ventilation, but they do move air around a room. This can help you to maximize the efficiency of your actual ventilation system.