Indoor Arenas / Facilities

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Four Reasons Sports Venues Should Consider SMART Ventilation Systems

30 Aug, 2020

By: Will Carson

With the return of professional, collegiate and community sports, there is an understandable concern surrounding crowded stands full of cheering fans. Social distancing, sanitization, face coverings and hand washing can only go so far to protect the sports going public.

Experts in health public and disease transmission including the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), World Health Organization (WHO), Association of Refrigeration, Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and Occupational and Safety Administration (OSHA) all agree that ventilation with fresh outdoor air is the single most effective measure to reduce the risk if airborne disease transmission.

Outdoor venues have the advantage of virtually unlimited outdoor air ventilation because the fans and players are outdoors. The resurgence of airborne illnesses following the reopening of bars and restaurants has placed renewed emphasis on indoor air quality and airborne contamination with all enclosed spaces, including indoor sport venues.

In the ever-changing 21st century, SMART-equipped devices are turning up in more and more areas of our lives. Since SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) devices can quickly analyze and detect problems, it should come as no big surprise that SMART-equipped Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are revolutionizing the HVAC industry as an extremely efficient way of:

  • Improving indoor air quality and reducing the risk of airborne illness for business owners.
  • Saving money (by saving energy);
  • Enhancing safety; and
  • Promote the healthy business environment.

The following are four leading reasons for installing a SMART ventilation system.

1) SMART Ventilation Controllers Make Your Venue More inviting to Fans, Players and Employees

A standard HVAC system is designed to cool and heat recycled air. The problem is that, since the air is only recycled, impurities start to accumulate. Indoor odors, dust, pollen, gasses and even viruses, bacteria and mold have nowhere to go. The result is increasingly poor indoor air quality. Health authorities, government agencies, and professional organizations are talking a lot about indoor air quality these days. So much information can be confusing and, at times, overwhelming. But one thing that they all upon is that indoor pollution – whatever the cause – is reduced by fresh air ventilation. As concerns are voiced nationally about the safety of the air inside businesses, venues and schools the demand for SMART ventilation systems and environmental monitoring is growing. 

The problem of recycled air leading to poor indoor air quality (IAQ) is compounded for venues that cater to large groups for extended periods. More people plus food and drink preparation, plus large public restrooms equals exponentially worse indoor air.

SMART ventilation controllers address this heretofore overlooked aspect of HVAC. SMART ventilation controllers not only remove these airborne contaminants and smells, but expel airborne viruses, bacteria and mold by increasing the quality of good air “coming into” the business while also removing “bad air” from the building. With a greater balance between IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) and OAQ (Outdoor Air Quality) come fewer smells and more importantly, fewer health risks. All told, this makes for a much safer, more pleasant and inviting business experience for fans, players and employees alike.

2) SMART Ventilation Controllers Save Money

SMART ventilation controllers save BIG money by reducing HVAC compressor use. Since the compressor is the “hardest-working” component in any HVAC system, that is huge. Basically, the fewer the number of compressor cycles, the less electricity is used. In turn, the fewer the number of compressor cycles required means longer-lasting equipment because the compressor does not need to work as often. Additionally, longer equipment life equals long-term cost savings. Since this year’s “top of the line” product can quickly become next year’s bargain-sale item, longer equipment life translates into an extended period of saving money.

Another way in which SMART ventilation systems save money (and energy) is by “banking” air. For instance, let’s say the set point of the system is 78, but the outside temp is 75 or even 70, which allows the indoor temp to drop to 76. This means cooler rooms will be 73 degrees and even warmer rooms will be 78. Since the HVAC does not come on until 79 degrees, the fan will circulate the “banked” cool air and thus skip compressor cycles. It bears repeating: fewer compressor cycles (by banking cool air) saves 33%, which translates into$900/year.

The same principle holds true for heating cycles and banking warm air. In a large venue during the cooler and colder days, the system can even balance the amount of cool or cold air used for ventilation to balance with the warm air exhaled by the venue occupants and the hot air generated by food preparation, further reducing compressor cycles and thus saving money.

3) SMART Ventilation Controllers Extend Escape Time in Case of a Fire

If the unthinkable happened and a fire broke out in your venue, would everyone have enough time to get out? An overlooked benefit of SMART ventilation controllers is their ability to enhance safety in your venue. How? By forcing fresh air into occupied spaces, smoke is forced upwards and out of the building, thus removing smoke before it can expand to the floor. That is an essential point because that’s where occupants are crawling towards their escape.

4) SMART Ventilation Controllers Provide Information about the Quality of the Venue’s Environment

With SMART ventilation controllers, IAQ, OAQ, and even indoor and outdoor noise pollution are all recorded and can be shared online. Sharing air quality and noise pollution sensor data allows users to create an “environmental neighborhood watch” to benefit everyone in the area. In other words, owners can readily see and compare the environment of their establishments to that of other nearby businesses.

It’s worth noting that while a SMART ventilation controller can monitor noise pollution, it cannot modify the noise level. Sharing air quality and noise pollution sensor information serves as proof that a venue is cleaner and quieter than the competition.

Summary

As any venue owner can plainly see, there are many reasons to install a SMART ventilation system. Such systems will save money by using less energy, enhance safety by increasing escape time in case of fire, and make the venue more inviting (and healthier) for fans, players and employees alike by removing airborne contaminates and smells and thus improving IAQ while reducing risk of airborne illnesses. It’s a win-win on many fronts.

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