We are in the seventh month of our COVID response. While New York State has not issued ventilation guidelines for buildings other than Fitness Centers, many building owners are being proactive in this area. We have investigated the various options available and provide these observations and recommendations:

There are generally four options available to improve the ventilation systems at your home or office facility: MERV-13 filter upgrades, Bi-polar Ionization, Ultra Violet Light, and Disinfecting Filtration Systems (air sanitizers).

  • MERV-13 filter upgrades- while replacing existing filters mounted in a residential furnace, rooftop unit, or larger central air handlers sounds like a simple solution; the bacteria size of the COVID virus is too small for MERV-13 filters to be effective. Furthermore, it is generally accepted that airflow is greatly reduced by installing MERV-13 filters so much that it “chokes” smaller units such as furnaces and rooftop equipment. This will freeze up evaporator coils, damage compressors and fan motors on smaller units. Finally, MERV-13 filters can usually be installed in larger commercial air handling equipment, if they are protected by a pre-filter, the high efficiency filters will need to be replaced very frequently, which is very costly.
  • Bi-polar Ionization units- this technology is attractive for retrofitting most residential furnaces and rooftop equipment up to, say 12-15 tons. The airborne particles passing through the ionizer are positively and negatively charged which creates a magnet affect. The particles connect to each other and become so dense that they fall out of the airstream or become large enough to be captured in a standard air filter. The equipment is fairly inexpensive and easy to install and maintain.
  • Ultra Violet Light- these systems are very effective and actually kills the virus and other bacteria. However, UV light requires an extended contact time with the virus in order to kill it. Since the COVID virus is airborne, UV technology does not allow enough contact time to be effective installed in a ventilation system. UV light is very useful when installed in a static environment such as sterilizing surfaces.
  • Disinfecting Filtration Systems- The technology used is also very effective in killing the virus. As air passes through an electrified grid the bacteria is vaporized. The DFS systems are currently the only FDA approved technology. There are many manufacturers currently selling the DFS units. The term “air sanitizers” is typically associated with DFS systems.

Please call us to discuss your specific building needs at 716-634-0100.

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What our Customers are Saying

Tom Bernard Financial Director, Quebecor

It has been my great pleasure to deal with HPS as a provider of facility management and Engineering services. HPS has been instrumental in helping QW identify hundreds of thousands of savings in energy consumption, security costs, maintenance and ongoing facility management.

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Joseph P. Brennan Senior Vice President, S&T Bank

I toured many locations throughout downtown Buffalo, seeking office space for opening a branch office in a new market. The moment I walked into the office in Brisbane, I knew that I found the very best spot to establish our presence. The buildout and move-in process were both made as seamless as possible, and the ongoing service makes for a welcoming environment. During the ongoing pandemic, I worked in my office daily as a member of an essential industry, and the conditions and security remained excellent on all facets.

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Dan Hart Director, Kleinhans Music Hall Society, Inc.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Kleinhans Music Hall Management Inc. have been working with the HUNT Property Solutions team led by Bill Hibbard for over two years now. For us, engaging them was one of the best decisions we have ever made. The experience they bring to the table for building maintenance and management has made a tremendous difference, not only in the vast improvement in building operations, but also because we can keep focused on our mission and programs - making Buffalo a better place through the power of music.

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Mary Roberts Executive Director , Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House

Bill Hibbard and his team completed a Facility Condition Assessment and assisted us in the implementation of our Computerized Maintenance Management System, which has been a valuable tool for managing day-to-day operations.

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