Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, HVAC systems have been at the center of concerns such as indoor air quality and the need to minimize potential exposure. At the local level, HVAC installers have increased their efforts to keep equipment and supplies clean, and technicians are wearing gloves and masks as protection to keep customers safe.

Many HVAC companies have also sought to give back to local communities hard-hit by the pandemic. As an industry, HVAC has remained committed to maximizing service to communities, and to each individual customer.

Pandemic response

For example, Johnson Controls has been part of the pandemic response from the beginning. The company first responded to the developing crisis in Wuhan, China, where local personnel worked to fulfill urgent needs for new hospitals.

Local personnel worked to fulfill urgent needs for new hospitals

As the pandemic evolved, Johnson Controls also implemented local and regional contingency plans across the globe to ensure employee safety and customer support.

“As a global company, we have been addressing this crisis from the very start and are proud of our frontline leadership responding in every corner of the world,” says George Oliver, Johnson Controls Chairman and CEO. He pledged the company will do whatever is needed to keep essential products, services and personnel up and running.

Helping Hospitals

Johnson Controls’ products and services in the HVAC category are essential to hospitals and operating rooms and are a necessary component for operation of almost all the Critical Infrastructure Sectors recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Properly ventilated buildings are critical to improve air quality and prevent the spread of disease and secondary infection. According to Johnson Controls, it is essential to maintain systems and keep them in service where people continue to live and work.

Industrial refrigeration is also vital in markets ranging from food and beverage processing to the petrochemical industry.

Here is another example of the HVAC community’s involvement in responding to the COVID-19 crisis: AAON, a semi-custom commercial HVAC equipment manufacturer, provided 50-ton customized HVAC units for the Stony Brook Temporary Hospital on Long Island, just east of New York City. The Tulsa, Okla., company provides 44 of the units, totaling 2,200 tons of HVAC apparatus, which equates to the cooling capacity of more than 700 single-family homes.

Aiding the pandemic

AAON worked around the clock to make the equipment and ensure the units arrived in New York City on a tight timeline. AAON’S New York sales office had called President Gary Fields to inquire about the company’s ability to meet the hospital’s need.

A 1,038-bed temporary hospital to treat non-COVID-19 patients during the pandemic was constructed

A 1,038-bed temporary hospital to treat non-COVID-19 patients during the pandemic was constructed at Stony Brook University. The Army Corps erected four temporary tent-like structures near the university’s athletic fields as part of the New York State initiative to relieve local hospitals during a spike in patients due to the pandemic.

Ultimately, like many temporary facilities built in response to the pandemic, the hospital was not used. However, the facility will be ready in case it is needed for a second wave of the pandemic.

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