HVAC has always played a key role in passengers’ and crew members’ health, safety and comfort.
In fact, HVAC is vital for any enclosed space whether aboard a ship or in a building ashore. Now, cruise lines are also focused on HVAC as a line of defense against COVID-19, using the system to circulate more fresh air inside, to filter air more effectively, and for the application of such technologies as UV-C lights and bipolar ionization to fight and eradicate viruses.
However, there are many sides to the equation. Pumping in more fresh air in tropical climates means higher air conditioning costs, for instance, as more air needs to be cooled more often.
Some also recommend a combination of higher-rated filters and other means to inactivate viruses.
In this special report, some cruise lines have shared insight about their air circulation and filtration plans, in addition to suppliers who argue the benefits of their technologies.
In addition, it will also come down to cruise ship operating practices, such as ventilating spaces between events (theater shows, dinner seatings) and technical maintenance to ensure that all systems are performing as they should be. Even when new vaccines against coronavirus become widespread, the focus on HVAC can continue to help mitigate norovirus outbreaks, and what may be new, not yet known, biological risks following in the wake of COVID-19.
In today’s world, it seems, the best defense is to be prepared.