NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     July 2020

Proactive HVAC Suppliers can Boost Revenues by $60 Billion

2019 HVAC revenues were $300 billion.  2020 revenues are down due to the impact of COVID.  With a reactive HVAC program revenues could slump to $290 billion in 2021. With a proactive program to increase air changes per hour in combination with other techniques revenues would increase to $360 billion in 2021.


It is recommended that homes receive 0.35 air changes per hour (ACH) but not less than 15 cubic feet of air per minute (cfm) per person.  Isolation rooms in hospitals utilize 6 air changes per hour. Recommended ACH for malls is 6 to 10 and 4 to 10 for municipal buildings.

In a mall setting the recommended air changes per hour will be a function of the number of emitters and their viral load, the mask type worn by the emitters, the efficiency of the HVAC filters, the dilution which is a function of air changes per hour, and the masks worn by the recipient. Masks can make a 90% reduction at very low cost. Increasing filter efficiency can result in another 90% reduction. Dilution can cause a 99.9% reduction or more but the cost is very substantial.


Viral Particle Discharge from Sequential Removal Devices

An ACH increase is only effective if the air flow patterns are beneficial. This means ductwork changes and other investments.

The greatest ROI is in the masks. There is a high ROI in the HVAC filter upgrades. Dilution through increasing the ACH is the most expensive. In the above example if the emitter is wearing an N30 mask the virus load entering the HVAC will be 1.4 million.  Even with  a 95% efficient filter the discharge would be 70,000 viral particles. To reduce that to 5 would require a dilution rate of 14,000 or 14 times as much as if the high efficiency mask is used.

Another consideration is the amount of outdoor air utilized.  Some infiltration of outdoor air is needed to keep CO2 levels lower than 1000 ppm and closer to the 480 ppm which is the average for ambient air.

The quality of outdoor air must be considered. An individual will inhale and exhale 7.8 million 0.1 micron or larger particles every minute in standard air. If the equivalent of a MERV 16 filter is installed in the HVAC the individual will inhale a few hundred thousand particles per minute.  The loading on the filter will be a function of the particulate concentration in the outdoor air and particulate generated in the space. On the average day in Delhi, India the individual will inhale 178 million particles larger than 0.1 micron each minute.

The COVID load in the outdoor air may not be zero but in most cases it can be assumed to be so low as not to be a consideration.


The ROI for the investment in HVAC should take into account the removal of air pollutants along with COVID. In Beijing, Delhi, and other polluted cities the investment can be justified just on the improvement in air quality.

The temperature and humidity of outdoor air also impact the cost of infiltrating outdoor air. In the summer in the Southern U.S., the cost of treating outside air is substantial.

The 2019 market for HVAC worldwide was $300 billion. A proactive COVID mitigation program could increase sales to $360 billion in 2021 versus $290 billion with a reactive program and a virus which disrupts the economy for several more years.

The proactive program, Coronavirus Technology Solutions is explained at

Bob McIlvaine can answer your questions at 847 226 2391.