In Las Vegas, the tourism-dependent casino industry has been among the hardest hit by COVID-related shutdowns, capacity restrictions and the CDC’s recommendation to avoid nonessential travel.
Operators are eager to demonstrate that they’re doing their best to mitigate the risk of coronavirus while keeping the city’s signature industry functioning.
One way to prove that commitment, according to some southern Nevada contractors, is by adding bipolar ionization technology to existing HVAC systems.
Bipolar ionization works by using charged atoms to attract pathogens and neutralizes them to prevent their spread. Ionizers are typically installed in supply air ductwork or air handlers. It has been touted as a way to help remove SARS-CoV-2and other viruses from the air, although neither ASHRAE nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a definitive position on its use.
The Environmental Protection Agency, however, permits manufacturers to advertise that the technology can help eliminate SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses from the air as long as they have data to support such claims.
Brad Davis, a vice president in the Las Vegas office of commercial MEP contractor P1 Group Inc., said some of the company’s casino clients have recently expressed an interest in installing such a system.
“Recently, a restaurant inside Mandalay Bay called us. One of our service techs went out and … looked at improving their (environment) with ionized filters,” Davis said. “They’re looking for a little bit extra on how they can improve their air quality.”