The regular cold and flu season is scary enough as it is but now with the “coronavirus” spreading people are more concerned about ways to keep their families healthy. According to the EPA, the indoor air you breathe is more polluted than the air outside. Technology and advances in the HVAC industry have provided solutions on improving the indoor air quality of your home and help prevent the spread of germs and viruses. Here are five ways your heating and air system can help prevent the spread of harmful microbes in your home.
1. Air Circulation.
When your heating and air system is running, it is circulating the air throughout the home. Stale air is pulled through the return and conditioned air is pushed out through the vents. Be sure to use exhaust fans when cooking or showering and open windows when weather permits to allow fresh air to come in. Ceiling fans are also a good way to keep the air moving inside your home. You can also have an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) installed. ERV’s bring in fresh air and condition the air at the same time. It automatically ventilates your home around the clock.
2. Humidity Control.
The relative humidity in your home should be between 40-60%. If the humidity is higher or lower than this threshold, it creates an environment for bacteria, viruses, and other harmful particles to thrive. During the cooler months, low humidity is more often a concern rather than high humidity. There are HVAC systems available that have humidity controls built in or you can add a whole home humidifier or ERV. There are other ways that you can increase the humidity in your home though. Room humidifiers can be purchased to run in the bedrooms. Also, boiling a pot of water on the stove can help bring more moisture into your home.
3. Air Filters.
We always recommend to check/replace your filters monthly but during flu season or if a member of your household is sick, you should replace your filters more often. Look for HEPA or other antimicrobial filters to use during the season. We would not recommend using thicker filters year round due to the added strain they can place on your HVAC system but are safe to use during flu or allergy season.
4. UV Lights.
UV lights are a great accessory that can be added to just about any existing HVAC system. These are placed inside the ductwork and destroy harmful microbes in the line of sight of the light. UV lights are typically pretty inexpensive compared to other HVAC accessories and are also easy to maintain. The bulb should be replaced once a year or every 9,000 hours. Many schools, hospitals and other public buildings use UV lights to improve air quality and prevent the spread of germs. Due to being installed inside the duct, you should always have a professional install the light.
5. Air Purifiers.
Air purifiers are another accessory that can be added to your current heating and cooling system. We recommend the iWave by Nu-Calgon. The iWave is small but very mighty! It is installed into the duct system and produces ions that react and break down pathogens, allergens, particles, and even odors. The iWave air purifier is also fairly inexpensive to buy and have installed. Another advantage with the iWave is that it is self cleaning so there is no maintenance required. Portable air purifiers can also be purchased at local hardware stores but these will only be able to clean the air in smaller spaces, not your entire home like the iWave would do.
If you are interested on ways to improve your indoor air quality, call Davis Heating & AC. We have many different accessories for all budgets and we offer financing.