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UPDATED 4.6.21: Every day, we’re offering more free shipping from more suppliers.

2017 October 11

Hey, did you know?
We update this blog post frequently with new suppliers and other updates. Check back here for the very latest and greatest in free shipping news from!

If you’ve been paying close attention, you may have noticed recently that we’ve been offering free shipping when you order from a number of our terrific suppliers.

Well, here’s a special news flash: we’re only just getting started.

Every day we’re meeting with our suppliers and working out new deals to bring our customers free shipping. And while it’s not a quick or simple process — because honestly, free shipping simply isn’t a good fit for every product from every manufacturer — we truly are dedicated to bringing more value and convenience to purchasing in our online marketplace at

So stay tuned, because you’ll see more no-hassle, free-shipping offers on in the days and weeks to come. Right now today, we invite you to enjoy these productivity-boosting, massive-selection-choosing, bottom-line-improving offers from:

That’s free ground freight shipping, anywhere in the contiguous United States. Some restrictions apply, so if you have questions just contact anyone on our support team.

Check back here often — because we’ll be adding to this list soon!

Josh Felperin se une a como nuestro nuevo Director de Ventas Globales

2021 April 8

En continuamos creciendo y mejorando nuestro mercado en línea para facilitar que nuestros clientes puedan completar sus proyectos de una manera más fácil y eficiente.

josh felperin

Nuestro nuevo Director de Ventas Globales, Josh Felperin, aporta un nivel de experiencia extraordinario a alpscontrols – incluyendo 13 años trabajando como Gerente de Ventas Nacionales para Siemens en su canal de automatización de edificios. Aunque Josh tendrá responsabilidades internacionales en su rol de ventas en, nuestros valiosos clientes en America Latina y Sudamerica deben continuar comunicándose con Gerardo y Guadalupe para sus necesidades de productos y aplicaciones.

Josh fue Gerente de Territorio en Siemens en el 2018, donde al comienzo de su tenencia, trabajó por un año en un programa en el cual recibió experiencia práctica en todas las facetas de la rama de automatización de edificios. Desde trabajar en la factoría armando válvulas y actuadores, hasta probar productos, servicio al cliente, mercadeo – Josh Felperin lo ha hecho todo. Este programa ayudó a Josh a comprender no sólo las partes que estaba vendiendo, sino también entender las necesidades de los clientes que estaban comprando dichos productos y formar una fundación sólida en respecto a su conocimiento de la industria.

Luego, Josh fue promovido y tomó responsabilidad de los territorios de New York City y New Jersey, los cuales manejó por los próximos 3.5 años. Este trabajo le ayudó a ganar conocimiento y experiencia de primera mano en el mundo de los contratistas a quienes servía. “Estoy muy seguro de que he estado dentro de todos y cada uno de los cuartos mecánicos en Manhattan y New Jersey” dice Josh, y con tiempo, también tomó responsabilidad del territorio Sureste en los Estados Unidos de Siemens. Durante este tiempo, Josh trabajó diariamente con contratistas, ingenieros y usuarios, promoviendo el portafolio robusto de productos Siemens y creando relaciones duraderas basadas en el éxito de sus clientes.

La posición más reciente de Josh en Siemens fue como Gerente Nacional de Ventas, donde manejó el crecimiento de su canal de automatización de edificios y un equipo diverso de 10 manejadores de territorios.

Ahora, Josh está comenzando su nuevo trabajo con como Director de Ventas Globales. Nos trae mucha emoción su alto conocimiento de productos, sus relaciones extraordinarias a través de la cadena de suplidores y la pasión que siempre trae al lugar de trabajo.

Josh comparte con nosotros que su decisión de unirse al equipo de alpscontrols fue en gran parte gracias a la cultura familiar y el enfoque al servicio de nuestra compañía.

josh felperin family

Josh Felperin combina sudaderas con su hija, Emily (11) y su hijo Jacob (9).

Josh está basado en Palm Harbor, Florida con dos de sus hijos, Emily (11) y Jacob (9). Adicionalmente, Josh tiene un hijo llamado Ethan, 19 quien estudia ingeniería mecánica en la Universidad de Illinois. Josh también vive cerca de su madre, padre y hermana gemela Sarah.

En su tiempo libre, Josh disfruta entrenar a Emily en softball y a Jacob en baloncesto. Josh también es aficionado del golf (hándicap: 4), le gusta correr y practicar CrossFit – lo cual, nos parece muy dedicado de su parte.

Josh está matriculado actualmente en el programa ejecutivo MBA en la Universidad de South Florida, proyectando graduarse en Mayo del 2022. Definitivamente Josh nos parece ser muy dedicado a sus pasiones.

Si no está claro aún, todos en estamos muy felices de tener a Josh como parte de nuestro equipo de trabajo – y si estás leyendo esto y eres nuestro cliente, muy pronto podrás apreciar el alto nivel de conocimiento y dedicación de Josh al éxito de tus proyectos.

Josh Felperin joins as our new Global Sales Director

2021 March 31

Once again, we’re growing in order to improve our online marketplace and your ability to get your projects done more easily and efficiently — and we’ve really outdone ourselves this time.

josh felperin

Our new Global Sales Director Josh Felperin brings an extraordinary level of experience to us at alpscontrols — including 13 years at Siemens as a Senior National Sales Manager for its building automation channel.

Josh was a Territory Manager at Siemens in 2008, where at the beginning of his tenure he worked through a one-year program in which he received hands-on experience in all facets of their building automation parts business. From working in the factory and actually assembling valves and actuators, to product testing, customer service, marketing— the whole bit. To hear him tell it, this program had much to do with building a solid foundation for Josh in which he was able to understand not just the parts he was selling, but the needs of the customers who were buying them.

Then Josh was promoted and given responsibility for the company’s territory that covered New York City and New Jersey, an assignment he managed for the next 3½ years. This job gave him insight and firsthand experience in the work of the contractors he served. “I’m pretty sure I’ve been inside every mechanical room throughout Manhattan and New Jersey,” Josh says, and over time he also took over responsibility for Siemens’ southeast territory. Throughout this time, Josh worked every day with contractors, consulting engineers, and end users, promoting Siemens’ robust product portfolio, and building trusting relationships based on the many successes of his customers.

And Josh’s most recent position with Siemens was as Senior National Sales Manager, where he managed the growth of their indirect building automation channel while directing a national, diversified team of ten Territory Managers.

Now he’s starting his new job with us as our Global Sales Director. We’re a little giddy just thinking about the deep breadth of product knowledge, extraordinary relationships throughout our industry’s supply chain, and the passion that he’s always brought to his work.

Josh tells us that his decision to join alpscontrols was in some part due to our company’s strong family-like culture and team-oriented, service-based approach.

josh felperin family

Josh Felperin in new matching hoodies with his daughter Emily, 11, and son Jacob, 9.

He’s based out of Palm Harbor, Florida with two of his kids, Emily (11) and Jacob (9). Additionally, Josh has an older son named Ethan, 19 and attending the University of Illinois, where he’s studying mechanical engineering. Josh also lives close to his mother and father and twin sister Sarah.

In his free time, Josh enjoys coaching Emily in softball and Jacob in baseball, and indulges himself in tons of golf (handicap: 4), running, and CrossFit — which, again, all sound a lot to us like super-committed activities based on robust achievement and success.

Josh is currently enrolled in the executive MBA program at the University of South Florida, scheduled for completion in May of 2022, so there’s that whole overachiever thing right there again. Just: wow.

If it’s not clear by now, all of us at are excited to have Josh join our team — and if you’re reading this and you’re a customer of ours, very soon you’re going to come to appreciate his deep knowledge and commitment to the success of your projects as well.

Sad but true: price increases on enclosures, dampers — and other steel products — are coming.

2021 February 5

enclosures and dampers at

It pains us to give you this update, but we’re pretty certain that you don’t like surprises when it comes to what you pay for HVAC and peripheral parts, so here we go:

Your prices on steel enclosures and dampers are about to go up, higher than they usually would as part of a traditional annual increase. The enclosure and damper manufacturers that we carry — Beaver Steel, Inc., Hoffman, Ruskin, and Saginaw Control & Engineering — have either posted price increases already, or will be doing so soon.

And why is that? It’s because the price of steel has reached levels not seen since 2008 as detailed in this article from The FABRICATOR.

These steep increases in steel prices (also see this article from Industry Week) have accompanied increased demand in the last year (according to the Wall Street Journal) — so the fact is, any product that we sell on that has a significant amount of steel in it will likely also get a price bump in the coming months. One of our enclosure suppliers told us that the price of their primary resource, cold rolled steel, has doubled in the last six months.

This kind of spike in steel prices is extraordinary. Many products are up 50–100% since late summer 2020, with the bulk of the increases occurring in November and December 2020. Sheet price in the United States has more than doubled since mid-2020 and just set a new all-time-record high. The prices of all products are rising rapidly, spiking to unsustainable peaks in 2021. Rapid construction and industrial recovery from COVID-19 lockdowns outpaced sluggish capacity restarts, so supply is temporarily tight.

Sheet prices are spiking in the United States at one of the fastest rates in history, despite ample (but idle) capacity. Despite the high prices, buyers should worry more about supply than price for the first quarter of 2021, but should avoid locking prices for the remainder of the year. Other products and regions have high prices for the first quarter of 2021, but are not experiencing shortages.

You can go ahead and mark this one down in the Sorry-We-Had-To-Give-You-This-Unfortunate-News-Today-But-Maybe-Tomorrow-Will-Get-Better column.

Ionization products for HVAC systems are the newest addition to our Healthy Building Technologies offering

2021 January 28

Let’s talk for a few minutes about ions.

If you can’t recall learning about ions in junior high school, we can take a quick refresher course courtesy of

ionī-ən noun
an atom or group of atoms that carries a positive or negative electric charge as a result of having lost or gained one or more electrons

So ions have extra electrons or missing electrons. When they have an extra electron or two, the ion has a negative charge, and when they are missing an electron or two, they have a positive charge. And because atoms seek out a neutral status, ions essentially “look around” until they find a corresponding charge to cling onto.

Of course, instruments have been created to cause this very thing to happen. Bi-polar ionization is a process in which positive and negative ions, when generated in adequate quantities and delivered by injecting them into HVAC supply air, react with water vapor and break down pathogens, allergens, particles, smoke, odors, and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). If appropriately designed, bi-polar ionization systems treat the space where people are most affected, not just the ductwork or HVAC components. By breaking down and removing those components in the air, the environment where people work and live becomes safer and healthier.

Bi-polar ionization means that the ions are generated using two emitters to create equal amounts of positively and negatively charged ions. When these ions are injected into the air stream, they create a plasma region and break down passing pollutants and gases into harmless compounds like oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor. When these ions come into contact with viruses, bacteria or mold, they remove the hydrogen molecules from the pathogens. Without hydrogen, the pathogens have no source of energy and die. The ions also attach to allergens such as pollen, smoke, and other particles, causing them to band together until they are large enough to be filtered out of the air or fall to surfaces where they will be removed in cleaning.

Ions are safe. In nature, for example, you can find a range of 2,000 ions per cubic centimeter in rural areas to 50,000 ions per cubic centimeter out on the ocean (water is a fabulous generator of ions!). Our research of products — and verified by third parties— has shown us that indoor ion counts of less than 100/cc3 represent poor air quality. Unfortunately, this kind of count can be found in many closed environments such as offices and homes. The more you increase the density of ions in a space, the more effectively you’re cleaning the air.

So, when alpscontrols chose a vendor for this category, we spent considerable time on the products that could prove they generated the most ion output at a reasonable price with minimum maintenance.

The Eagle X Pro line of products met all of our goals for this product range. With units that can be installed in systems of all sizes that produce an unbelievable number of ions, you are assured of having the most impactful, positive, cleaning effect on the environments you are treating. The D5 line generates 10 billion ions/cc/sec, and the D6 ranges from 20 billion to a trillion ions.

So picture this: with any product in the air system that generates ions, a certain number of those ions are going to stay or get stuck in the air handler itself — which is fine for cleaning the air inside the handler, but does almost nothing for actually cleaning the air in the spaces where the actual occupants are found.

The fact that the Eagle X Pro products can generate billions and trillions of ions — which no other product on the market can do — means that those ions will not stay in the air handler. They’ll be sent throughout the spaces where they will continuously clean the air by breaking down pathogens, pollutants, smoke, gases and more.

Ultimately, your goal isn’t to treat the air in your duct work. You want to treat the air in the spaces where people are breathing it.

We’ll be honest: we’ve seen tons of product innovations over the years, but we were staggered by those numbers of ions that the Eagle X Pro products produce. What it means to you is that you can find ionization products in our online marketplace that will significantly clean your buildings’ air of everything you don’t want your occupants breathing.

Find Eagle X Pro ionization products at here.

Tapa’s indoor air quality monitoring solution can help make a safer return to any building

2020 November 19

Pre-pandemic, few businesses and commercial properties put monitoring indoor air quality (IAQ) on the top of their list of must-haves to help boost sales and drive foot traffic. But after months of shutdowns around the world to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, many schools, restaurants, places of worship, public buildings, and commercial properties are now focused on improving the indoor air we breathe. helps businesses easily find, compare, and purchase HVAC and building automation control parts online to create more efficient and safer building environments — and it’s never been more important to address our customers’ very real and growing concerns around the health and safety of re-entering public buildings, which is going to be vital to our country’s long-term economic recovery.

We’ve seen an increased interest throughout our industry in improving the quality and safety of indoor air with air filtration, UV-C lighting products, and air monitoring tools, which is why we’re proud to announce that we’ve partnered with Tapa to include its Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Monitoring Solution in our online marketplace.

The country’s economic recovery and the long-term resiliency of commercial real estate buildings and many local, small businesses are found in the ability of owners and operators to address consumers’ very real and growing concerns around the health and safety of re-entering public buildings – specifically with real-time, data-driven insights to inform occupants that the indoor air is clean and contaminant-free.

A recent survey of 1,000+ U.S. consumers revealed that a vast 91% majority of consumers believe that IAQ is important in the prevention of COVID-19 spread — and consumers are taking this into account when considering re-entering public buildings. Additionally, 76% said that a ‘rating system’ on the IAQ of a building — similar to the rating a restaurant might have — would help them feel better about entering that building, school, place of worship, or restaurant.

By partnering with Tapa, we can work to get you the right air quality monitoring solution to help you visualize the quality of your indoor air at any time, from anywhere, via a mobile application.

Recent changes to industry and government indoor air quality regulations and standards (including ASHRAE, The CDC, and WELL) have been implemented to reduce flu, virus, COVID-19, and other contaminants. Thresholds have been established around five critical environmental factors: temperature, humidity, particle matter, CO2, and Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs). Tapa’s solution stands out with real-time, data-driven insights to inform occupants that the indoor air meets these requirements and is being continuously measured to deliver the Tapa IAQ Score ™ — an at-a-glance assessment of the building’s air quality on a simple 0-100 scale. When these five environmental factors deviate outside the recommended ranges, the score decreases, signaling that an adjustment should be made.

It’s not about getting back to normal, it’s about our new normal in a post-pandemic society and how we and our partners can do our part to help give piece of mind and ensure clean, safer and healthy buildings for those going back to the office, sending their kids to school, or simply wanting to dine out at a favorite restaurant.

And we’ll be sharing more about Tapa and their smart building management and tenant experience solutions that unify legacy building systems with new controls, sensors and IoT devices into a single platform for seamless access, management and optimization.

Find Tapa’s indoor air quality monitoring solution at right here.

Zonex Systems – simple and inexpensive plug-and-play valve control solutions

2020 November 19

We recently added a new supplier to our catalog that I think can add an advantage to many of our customers. It is a simple valve control system for jobs that don’t require a comprehensive and expensive all-inclusive control package. Our new supplier is Zonex Systems, and they provide a simple “plug-and-play” control system to control a rooftop unit and its VAV boxes or zone dampers. The installation is easy and the product is inexpensive.

I see this product fitting two different markets:

  • This can be used by sophisticated control contractors that only have one expensive solution. If you’re a dealer for one of the name brand comprehensive controller manufacturers, but you’re finding that you aren’t competitive using your name brand product, this solution could make you very competitive.
  • Or, if you’re a smaller contractor that needs a simple valve control solution, I believe this product can fit the bill.

David Meyers, President

Either way, you may find other markets that could open up to you with this product. I used to own a large control contracting business, and felt that I always needed to install my name brand product – but either I couldn’t get competitive, or I felt that I was over-engineering the need, and installing a system that did not require the complexity that we always thought we needed to provide.

Zonex Systems products are not meant to control everything on a campus, or data center, or any large facility. They’re designed to control the airflow side of the AHU and the VAV or zone dampers. Zonex Systems can provide more than that, but I don’t want you to think that is meant to replace your existing name brand product, but rather just supplement your current offering.

Please take a look at the video below. It is just 9 minutes long and tells you everything you need to know about this simple, inexpensive system that just might help you win more work.

Find Zonex Systems building control solutions at right here.

Measuring CO in buildings with heating boilers can prevent sickness, hospitalization – and worse.

2020 November 18

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 450 people die in the United States each year from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – with more than 50,000 people either injured or made ill as well.

Buildings with heating boilers can be prone to CO leaks – which means schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, government offices and many more may present dangerous environments to occupants due to persistent, undetected carbon monoxide.

The BAPI-Stat 4 Carbon Monoxide Sensor (BA/CO-B4) is a simple, critical tool for monitoring and detecting CO.

And in fact, we’ve already helped implement a solution to a school district project in Tulsa, Oklahoma, using BAPI’s CO sensor.

It’s interesting to note that only five of the United States – California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, and Maryland – require CO detectors in school buildings. According to the Environmental Law Institute, however, a growing number of states and localities are establishing requirements for CO alarms in schools, and the 2015 version of the International Fire Code (IFC) – a model code adopted by many states – added a provision requiring CO alarms in classrooms in new educational occupancies.

Taking a proactive step, the Tulsa school district searched for a dependable and robust sensor to measure CO in 80 different buildings that house 42,000 students. BAPI worked with our sales and support team at to find a sensor that would serve the needs of the district.

That’s how the school district chose the BAPI-Stat 4 Carbon Monoxide Sensor, featuring:

  • 0-40 ppm CO measurement range
  • 30 ppm relay/audible alarm trip level
  • Local alarm indicators – both visual and audible – with a green/red LED indicator showing a status of Normal, Alarm, Trouble/Service or Test
  • Two relay outputs and one analog output
  • A sensing element with a typical life span of 7 years

Having both a local alarm as well as the relay and analog outputs permits the school to connect the sensor to the building’s automation system, so that it can shut down the school’s heating and ventilating units if CO is detected – and preventing the system from restarting until service personnel address the source of the carbon monoxide. Randy Ramsey of Ramsey System Services, LLC in Tulsa, OK, said of the project,

“With the help of BAPI and the team at, we’re very happy to have installed over 1,000 CO sensors in the last two years, with a goal to put sensors in every classroom in the district as the project continues over the next five years.”

And while schools are, of course, extremely important to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning, the need doesn’t end there. Any building heated by a boiler system is vulnerable to CO leaks, and the BAPI-Stat 4 Carbon Monoxide sensor provides a dependable, simple to use unit offering outstanding accuracy to help ensure indoor air quality and occupant safety.

Find the BAPI-Stat 4 Carbon Monoxide sensor at right here.

We’ve partnered with Light Progress to make their proven UV-C technology available to help you disinfect buildings against COVID-19

2020 September 29

covid-19 classroomOur goal now during the global COVID-19 pandemic is to help you create safer building environments, and after researching the most proven and effective approaches throughout our industry, we’ve entered into a new and exciting partnership with Light Progress as a trusted global leader in UV-C products and solutions.

UV-C – ultraviolet light with germicidal properties – was discovered over 100 years ago and has decades of overwhelming, peer-reviewed scientific research proving it to be a safe and effective means of disinfecting air, surfaces, and water. We sought out Light Progress because they’ve created the best evidence-based technology to disinfect air in HVAC systems against Coronavirus SARS-Cov-2, the causal agent of COVID-19.

Now, together with Light Progress, we can work to get you the right UV-C solutions for all of your HVAC projects, ensuring clean, safe buildings and protecting the health of the occupants within. And of course, you’ll be able to find all of the Light Progress parts in our online marketplace, easily and quickly and backed up by our world-class customer support team.

We’ll link to the Light Progress products below, but it’s important first to share a little bit about their mission – because it’s really a great story with potentially history-making solutions to this generation’s biggest challenge.

First, a quickie definition: UV-C rays are ultra-violet rays for which germicidal effects of their radiation destroy the DNA of bacteria, viruses, spores, fungi, molds and mites, reducing their growth and proliferation. UVGI technology is a physic disinfection method with a great costs/benefits ratio. Furthermore, it’s ecological, and – unlike chemicals – it works against every microorganisms without creating any resistance.

how light progress products fit into your building hvac system

(click to enlarge)

Since their founding in 1987, Light Progress has become a trusted global leader in providing proven risk mitigation solutions that deliver safer environments for people, today and in the future.

Their idea was to use the UV-C wavelength, known for its germicidal properties. At that time, UV-C was a poorly developed but promising technology to be explored, analyzed, and tested. The results were immediate and striking. From pioneering research, the Light Progress founders began producing ultraviolet germicidal products and solutions for air and surface treatment.

light progress wall mounted ventilated uvc air purifier in a dentist office

By the early 90s, the Light Progress product portfolio included a dozen different devices. The company’s focus remained fixed on research and design of new products and applications of UV-C that would arise over the years.

Light Progress has 40 internal employees in management and R&D and over 100 in manufacturing across five facilities in Italy, one facility in Germany, and two facilities in the United States. Their products are found in large companies, food industry leaders, hospitals, universities, research institutes, commercial facility and infrastructure contractors, public transit, and others to transform ultraviolet germicidal technology into real and practical solutions.

UV-C helps maintain or retrofit indoor air quality significantly. The application of UV prevents formation and reduces the spread of different categories of organisms, which can grow and/or spread in modern air treatment systems. Use of UV irradiation in air conditioning and air treatment systems has also been recommended for many years, and ASHRAE recommends ultraviolet germicidal irradiation as a way to address disease transmission of COVID-19.

We’ll be telling you a lot more about Light Progress products in the coming months, because we really believe that their technology and core philosophy will be integral to the creation of safer buildings everywhere.

In the meantime, you can browse Light Progress UV-C Germicidal Solutions products on right here.

Become a beta tester and help shape the future of

2020 September 18

become a beta tester for

Want to skip the jibber-jabber and sign up to be a beta tester? Just scroll down to the form below!

Otherwise, here’s an invitation unlike any other you’ll probably get today. We’d like you to help us:

  • Test,
  • Experiment with,
  • Break,
  • Then help us fix,
  • Complain about,
  • and — ultimately —
  • improve Are you up for it?

Right now you can sign up to be a beta tester for That means you’d get to have access to new features and tools in our online marketplace before they go live on the site — and you’d have a direct impact on how the site looks and works in the future.

See, our development team is dedicated to constantly improving our software to optimize how you buy HVAC and building automation parts online. And there’s no better way to bring you the best experience than to have you — our totally super-valued customer — help us improve your experience! Beta testers are critical to the success of good software development, because you have the power to inform the design and functionality of our features.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You fill in the survey form below so that we can learn a little bit about you and how to contact you.
  2. You can choose beta testing, interviewing, or surveys:
    1. As a beta tester, you test new, unreleased features and then give your feedback directly to our designers and developers
    2. Interviews are flexible, scheduled when you’re available. They can be as short as 10 minutes, or as long as you’d like, or can be cut short at any time. Typically they’re between 15 and 25 minutes.
    3. Surveys help us answer questions about your day-to-day workflow and understanding of your industry to ensure that we improve with your needs in mind.
  3. Then we contact you and set you up!

It’s simple and it can take about as long or as quickly as you’d like — and the best thing is, we’re just asking you to show us how you use, which you’re already doing anyway!

And the other cool thing? You can be brutally honest with us, because we’re only going to improve the site if you help us figure out anything that’s wrong with it. 

So don’t worry about hurting our feelings — we can take it.

Just fill this out and we’ll contact you soon:

Create your own user feedback survey

Thanks for your help!

Setra Systems helps you create and monitor negative pressure spaces

2020 July 15

In the post COVID-19 world, new applications for negative pressure spaces have begun to emerge and negative pressure ventilation is mentioned throughout OSHA and CDC guidelines. No longer strictly meant for airborne infection isolation rooms in hospitals, negatively pressurizing a space can help businesses and other facilities safely resume operations. These new applications include dental, mortuary, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes. In long-term care facilities, creating an isolation wing using negative pressure can be an effective and efficient way to further reduce the spread of dangerous particles and increase the effectiveness of the isolation. A designated isolation area for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients helps limit the possibility of contamination and spread throughout a nursing home or long-term care facility. In spaces like dental offices, that commonly deal with aerosol generating procedures, it is crucial to negatively pressurize certain rooms to prevent the spread of airborne infection.

Some key parameters to monitor when increasing ventilation or creating a negative pressure space include air changes per hour (ACH) and differential pressure. The CDC recommends 12 ACH in a space where a procedure creating airborne viral particles is performed. Another requirement for these rooms includes negative air pressure relative to the outside reference area, a difference of at least -0.01” WC.

Establishing a Negative Pressure Room

There are several methods to quickly create a negative space. First, minimize the number of people entering and exiting the space. Second, create a barrier. If the area has a door, block any gaps to help create a seal. If it’s an open area, block off the space with a heavy plastic curtain. Third, bring in a portable unit to pull a negative pressure and exhaust the contaminated air out. Ideally, the air is exhausted away from any area where people pass by outside. Incorporating a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter with the portable unit will help reduce particle counts in the air without relying solely on the building’s HVAC system. In addition to HEPA filters, consider using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) for sterilization of the air being pulled by the portable unit.

An existing HVAC system can also be used to create a negative pressure space, although this method is more involved and requires more investment. Work with a local mechanical contractor or HVAC system engineer to adjust an HVAC system to ensures clean air is drawn into the room and contaminated particles, such as those from aerosol generating procedures or patients in isolation, are not able to escape. Traditional airborne infection isolation rooms in hospitals do not recirculate exhaust into the facility’s main HVAC system. Rather dedicated duct work filters the air through a HEPA filter before it is vented by stack on the roof so atmospheric air can dilute it. When adjusting an HCVAC system, be sure the contaminated exhaust has a path to leave or be sterilized and isn’t recirculated into clean spaces.

Monitoring Negative Pressure

setra lite

With a newly pressurized space, it is crucial to have sufficient monitoring to ensure safe environmental conditions. Setra LITE is a visual pressure indicator that glows green when the space is safe. It can be mounted inside or outside the room, depending on the building’s layout and the user’s preference. Quick mount kits are available for even faster installation.

Find the Setra LITE on right here

setra mrms multiroom monitor

Setra’s MRMS, or Multi-Room Monitoring Station, can monitor the status of multiple pressurized spaces at a centralized location, like a nurse’s station. The MRMS can display conditions for up to eight rooms with configurable audible/visual alarms.

Find the Setra MRMS on right here

setra flex environmental room monitor

Setra FLEX has advanced monitoring and control capabilities for deeper insight into the conditions in a pressurized space. On FLEX, up to 3 rooms can be monitored from a single unit. FLEX can monitor and display pressure, temperature, humidity, and air changes per hour as well as send control signals to HVAC or building automation systems for real-time adjustments based on the room’s conditions.

Find the Setra FLEX on right here

As places like dental offices re-open and long-term care facilities evaluate their infection control strategies, there are many factors to consider. Understanding the various ways these new applications can create and monitor negative pressure spaces is an important aspect of safe and effective future operations.