If you pay any attention to the news and constantly changing storylines regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, you know one thing is for certain: we know very little about this virus and its nature. However, there are a few things that we have been able to establish as true with little to no doubt, and one of those things is that the vast majority of the virus’s spread occurs in indoor settings. This is true for both homes and businesses, and the easiest solution would simply be to keep infected people away. However, one of the other things we have established is that infected people often don’t show symptoms, and thus they aren’t aware that they should stay away from others.
So, what can you do as a home or business owner to keep everyone around you protected and keep your air clean and virus-free? Believe it or not, one of the best allies you have in this fight against the Coronavirus is something you already have in your home: your HVAC equipment. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are designed to move and process large amounts of air in a short amount of time, and that means they could potentially help you keep your home safer and cleaner. In this blog, we’ll discuss how and give you a few helpful tips for things you can do.
Regularly Allow Fresh Air into Your Home
The virus can’t survive outside, plain and simple. UV radiation from sunlight kills virus cells almost instantly, and that means you are far less likely to get the disease while outside, even when around other people. What that also means is that there’s an extremely small chance that the disease is floating around in the air outside—many, many times smaller than the chances that the disease is floating around in indoor air.
For this reason, one of the best things you can do is regularly allow fresh air into your home or business. There are several ways to do this, and the easiest is to simply open doors and windows and turn on fans to allow air to flow in and out. Within about 20 to 30 minutes, all of the air in your home should be replaced with proper ventilation and airflow setup. However, if you’re concerned about this wasting energy, there are ventilation systems you can add to your HVAC system that replace your old, stale air with fresh air while minimizing energy loss. We encourage you to talk to an HVAC professional about adding one of these ventilation systems into your home.
Monitor CO2 Levels in Your Home
CO2 levels are a great indicator of the freshness of the air in your home or business. As the air grows older and staler, the CO2 concentration in the air will rise. As we breathe, we remove oxygen from the air and replace it with the CO2 that we exhale. As such, the CO2 concentration increases, and so does the potential density of COVID-19 airborne germs. A CO2 level monitor can tell you when this is happening and notify you when you should open the doors and windows to allow some fresh air inside. You can generally purchase a CO2 monitor from pretty much any home improvement warehouse or hardware store that sells smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, and installation is generally extremely easy. You can also usually purchase them online if you’d rather avoid a potentially crowded store.
Go Outside for Part of Your Day
The CDC, WHO, and just about any other organization related to health all say that going outside and getting some fresh air is great for your health. Not only does it reduce your chances of contracting the virus due to indoor air pollution, but it’s great for exercise too. Take the opportunity to walk through a local park for about 15 to 20 minutes and not only will you feel more invigorated and energized, but you’re actually improving your health as well. Mind you, we strongly advise keeping your distance from others and avoiding any areas that are particularly crowded.
Use an Air Cleaner System
Finally, if you feel as though the air in your home or business is stale and stuffy, or you feel as though ventilation is not adequate, it’s not a bad idea to get some help for your HVAC system in the form of an air cleaner. Air cleaners come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and the U.S. EPA says that air cleaners can help you reduce disease transmission.
However, not all air cleaners are created equal. Even different cleaners of the same type have different virus-combatting abilities. For example, ultraviolet air scrubbers are great for killing off viruses and small disease cells, but they aren’t perfect. HEPA filtration is great for removing viruses and bacteria from the air, however, they are not always compatible with every HVAC system. If you would like to make the investment in better air quality, we recommend speaking with a professional.To learn more about installing improved ventilation or air cleaning equipment in your home, call Tri-City Heating and Cooling at (203) 303-5700 today!