What the Latest ASHRAE 62.1 Standard Means for You
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Just because you cannot see the air you breathe doesn’t mean that it doesn’t impact your health. And while much of the conversation around air quality examines pollution and the quality of outdoor air, ventilation pros know that indoor air quality is arguably even more significant to our health.
Whether poor indoor ventilation results in negative health effects like dizziness and irritation or causes a decline in office productivity, air quality in commercial spaces matters. Because of this, standards like the ASHRAE 62.1 exist to promote improved air quality and ethical design
What is the ASHRAE 62.1 Standard?
ASHRAE Standard 62.1 sets the minimum ventilation requirements for commercial and institutional buildings to ensure optimal indoor air quality and minimize negative health effects to occupants.
Overall, the standard includes guidelines for three key processes: IAQ Procedure, Ventilation Rate Procedure and Natural Ventilation Procedure.
Most mechanical design engineers are familiar with the standard, using these procedures to satisfy code or permit requirements when specifying HVAC systems for commercial spaces.
The standard is constantly evolving to improve IAQ and keep up with the latest industry trends. ASHRAE 62.1 - 2022 is the latest version, updating the previous 62.1-2019 edition.
What Changes Are Included in ASHRAE 62.1- 2022?
According to ASHRAE, the 2022 edition includes the following changes that reflect research, statistical evidence, and improved building systems and technologies:
A reorganized Section 5, “Systems and Equipment,” to create a clear pathway of airflow and showcase how buildings, systems, and equipment relate to each other.
A continued focus on IAQ and improvements on IAQ procedures, setting maximum dew-point temperature for mechanically cooled buildings to require exhausted and air separation distances.
Updated definitions and removal of items that fall under Standard 62.2 – 2022.
An updated title to reflect how IAQ goes beyond ventilation requirements.
Standard 62.1 was revised because air quality goes beyond ventilation requirements and recognizes all aspects of building systems contribute to optimal IAQ.
While the increased reliance on filtration may improve IAQ, a lot has to do with inspection and maintenance. Filters need to be serviced. And unfortunately, filtration systems are rarely serviced – reducing both the filtration rate and ventilation rate.
Table 8-1 outlines the minimum maintenance activity and the frequency for attention. Some key points include:
Verifying the space provided for routine maintenance and inspection of equipment and components is unobstructed.
Checking pressure drop and scheduled replacement date of filters and air-cleaning devices, Clean or replace as necessary.
Checking variable-frequency drive for proper operation and correct as needed.
Systemair’s Topvex FR and Topvex TR ERV series includes features that address improving IAQ, making it easy to both meet the standard and ensure optimal performance. Its control scheme maintains the required CFM rate even if the filter clogs up, guaranteeing that the necessary ventilation air is always provided. Once the fan can no longer support the load, a filter alarm will trigger for the appropriate maintenance.
Whether your application needs a high-efficiency solution or simply needs to meet the minimum ventilation requirements, Systemair offers the guidance and technology to do the job right. Explore our entire lineup of ventilation solutions and contact our pros for expert guidance from concept to completion.