How Maintaining Indoor Air Quality Protects Your HealthDue to the ongoing pandemic, Americans are increasingly spending more time at home. This trend isn’t expected to change anytime soon, which is why it’s important to pay attention to indoor air quality (IAQ).
How can good indoor air quality help safeguard the health of you and your family? Bill Reynolds Heating & Air Conditioning, your local cooling and heating service company, explains in this guide and shares some tips on how to improve indoor air quality.
How the Coronavirus is Transmitted
The coronavirus is a relatively new virus, so researchers’ understanding of it is still evolving. Based on current evidence, it seems the coronavirus is transmitted through droplets expelled from the body whenever a person coughs, talks or breathes. While most of the droplets fall quickly, some remain airborne. In an enclosed space, these droplets can potentially travel through your ductwork and infect members of your household.
Can Air Purifiers Protect You Against the Coronavirus?
What can you do to stop the spread of the virus in your home? First of all, everyone should follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, which include practicing proper hand hygiene. An air purifier might be able to provide some degree of protection, but this tends to vary depending on the filtration method used. For instance, UV purifiers can eliminate virus particles, while ultraviolet rays break down the DNA of bacteria and viruses, reducing them to nitrogen and oxygen. To learn more about your options, consult an IAQ or air conditioning repair and installation technician.
What Should You Look For in an Air Purifier?
If you’re looking for an air purifier or new air filter, first check its minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating. The higher the MERV rating, the more airborne pollutants a purifier or filter can remove. Purifiers and filters with a MERV rating of 13 can remove some airborne bacteria and viruses, while those with a MERV rating of 15 (usually found in hospital inpatient care spaces) can remove most bacteria. However, only purifiers with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can remove all airborne bacteria and viruses.
HEPA filters can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter. The size of the novel coronavirus is 0.125 microns, but the droplets that carry them are around 1 micron. As such, HEPA filters are more than capable of removing these droplets from the air. If you’re looking for a purifier with a HEPA filter, your local cooling and heating service company can give recommendations.
Keep in mind that an air purifier’s ability to remove airborne particles from the air is dependent on its ability to consistently draw airborne particles into its filters. The faster a purifier can cycle through stale indoor air, the more airborne particles it can remove. The clean air delivery rate (CADR) indicates the volume of clean air (in cubic feet per minute) a purifier can produce when at its highest setting.
Consumer Reports recommends choosing a model with a CADR of over 240. Models with this rating can do five air exchanges per hour in the room size suggested and quickly remove particles of all sizes from indoor air. To learn more about the factors that can affect an air purifier’s performance, consult your local air conditioning repair and installation contractor.
Eliminating Dust, Mold and Other Irritants
In the midst of this pandemic, it’s also important to maintain your HVAC system. Without routine maintenance, dust can accumulate and mold can grow in the ductwork. Dust particles and mold spores can aggravate respiratory conditions and potentially weaken your immune system.
How often should you have your HVAC system inspected? As a good rule of thumb, HVAC systems should be inspected at least twice a year. If you have a furnace installed, you should also have it inspected by a furnace installation and repair contractor before winter rolls around.
Are you looking for experienced HVAC contractors in your area?
Bill Reynolds Heating & Air Conditioning, a family-owned and -operated business with over six decades of experience, offers a wide range of professional HVAC services, including custom IAQ and furnace installation services. To request a quote, call us at (440) 946-7863 or fill out this form.