The Importance of Training in a Well-Ventilated Gym
Even before the ongoing concerns of COVID-19, proper ventilation in a gym has always been essential for everyone sharing the space. Most gyms and other large spaces are most-effectively heated and cooled with central air, which functions by circulating the air through a system of blower vents and return vents that pass the air through a central unit. This central unit heats or cools the air to the desired temperature before sending it back through the air supply vents that are strategically placed throughout the space. This simple system is economical, but many gyms miss the opportunity to additionally use the system as a way to provide their patrons with air passed through filters, and therefore improving the quality of the air.
Now, more than ever, the issue of ventilation and clean air is top of mind – and for good reason. Especially at a gym—where people are breathing deeply in yoga classes, blowing air as they strain on the weight bench, or huffing and puffing on the treadmill—it is important that the air everyone breathes is continuously exchanged, filtered, and returned for the health and safety of everyone sharing this space.
How Does an Air Filter Work?
In areas that do not use an HVAC system, the best option to clean the air is typically by using a standalone air purifier, which does a great job at sucking in air in its direct vicinity before running it through an ionizing, UV-purifying, or activated-charcoal scrubbing filter. However, these units are costly, and can be ineffective when they are running in a space that is larger than their handling capacity.
In a space with HVAC, there is a great opportunity to capture far more of the “stale” air in the room by pulling it through the return air ducts, scrubbing it of any harmful particulate matter before running it through the central unit, and returning fresh air through the air supply vents in order to keep everyone in the area safe and breathing well.
An air filter works by typically sitting in the air supply duct (the duct that is returning the stale air to the central unit) and filtering a range of particles, including pet dander, pollen, microbes, bacteria, and more. If you have HEPA filters installed in your gym’s HVAC system, you can be confident that the filter works to remove particles as small as —and smaller than— the particles that carry COVID-19, meaning that you are giving your patrons a chance to exercise in your gym while having a continuously fresh air supply.
Is an Air Purifier As Good As an Air Filter At a Gym?
Air purifiers are extremely effective when they are used in specific situations, but when you are in a large space like a gym, where there are many people spread out across the area breathing heavily and often, you will benefit from having an air filter. If you were to provide your patrons with the same level of clean air using purifiers, you would need to have many of these cumbersome standalone units spread across the workout areas, locker rooms, reception, and anywhere else. These costs will quickly add up, but if you install air filters in your HVAC unit you are taking advantage of the dual benefits – fresh filtered air and a consistent temperature.