Coronavirus and Other Pathogens: Improving Indoor Air Quality and Your Health
As the spread of COVID-19 continues to reach more and more people, many are focused on how to reduce their chances of getting diagnosed with the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. Though it’s important to consider your indoor air quality at all times, as germs, viruses and bacteria in your air and HVAC system can cause health problems at any time, it is especially important to consider the best ways to keep yourself and your family healthy now. Throughout this blog, we’ll talk about how, by learning more about how to maintain clean indoor air, you can protect your home and loved ones from harmful germs.
The Importance of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Just like the four main groups most at risk when contracting COVID-19, these same groups are at risk of becoming ill due to polluted air. These include:
- Immunocompromised people, such as those who are pregnant, recovering from illness, or those who have chronic respiratory or other health issues.
- Children under age 16.
- Adults over the age of 60.
- Animal owners of cats, dogs, and/or birds.
While it is believed that the coronavirus spreads mainly through respiratory droplets when someone with COVID-19 sneezes or coughs, residual droplets can actually linger in the air, meaning it can potentially travel through your ductwork and infect everyone living in your home.
Maintaining Clean IAQ
The biggest step you can take to maintain clean indoor air is to deal directly with the source of any contamination. Whether you’re dealing with mold, dust, dander or a virus, unless you treat the specific source, any other solution is a temporary fix that isn’t actually solving the problem.
However, if you are concerned about pathogens in your home’s air, don’t worry. There are a variety of things you can do to limit your family’s exposure to these particles. For example, some HVAC systems have a higher Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rated filter, electronic air cleaners, and ultraviolet sterilization systems. These enhancements help to better clean the air that passes through them, filtering it for any harmful pathogens.
Remember, while your HVAC and duct systems may contribute to the spread of harmful bacteria, viruses, dust or mold, if this happens, it is because the air in your home has become contaminated, not because your system created the contamination in the first place.
Curbing Mold Growth
Though you don’t need another thing to worry about, something else to consider is biological growth. Given the right conditions, like a source of food, moisture and condensation from the coils, and an absence of UV light, like those found in the sun’s rays, mold can take over and can create all kinds of health concerns. Preventing these conditions, by taking preventative actions, such as installing a UV sterilization system, your unit will have the ability to break down mold growth and keep your family out of harm’s way.
With many of us staying home more than ever before, it is important that the air you breathe is free of pathogens that can harm you and the people that you love. At Air Solutions, we are experienced in both identifying mechanical and performance issues with your unit, and in finding the cause of any contamination. To ensure your unit is running safely and efficiently, we recommend that you get your system inspected by one of our professionals at least twice per year. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with one of our certified HVAC technicians or call (409) 962-2476.