Indoor Air Quality and Viruses - The recent advent of the COVID19 virus has many people worried about catching the virus. They wonder what they can do to avoid catching it not only for themselves but also for their family members.
Of course, there are many things to take into consideration when out in public to avoid exposure, but how do you protect yourself at home? At work? Let’s take a look at the air quality inside your home and how to increase the quality of that air to protect yourself and your family not only from viruses but also from other bad substances including bacteria and mold.
Indoor Air Quality and Viruses - The Research for UV Light and Killing Viruses in Air
In laboratory testing, it has been proven that viruses are killed when exposed to a specific spectrum of UV light. This spectrum of UV light, UVC not only kills viruses but also kills bacteria and mold. This mold, virus, and bacteria can be found floating in the air. That means when your air conditioner or heating is on the fan can distribute these harmful biological substances through the air.
This harmful biological matter can become lodged in your ductwork and grow. When the fan resumes operation it begins spreading the harmful substances through the air. So how do to reduce or prevent this from occurring to protect you and your family?
UV Air Cleaners for Your HVAC System
You can have a UV air cleaner installed in your duct system or air handler. The Ultra-Violet Air Cleaner is designed to turn on when the fan turns on. Any air passing through the duct system or air handler will be exposed to the UVC light the UV Air Cleaner emits. This kills those harmful biological substances including viruses. Unless you are a skilled “do-it-yourself” type it is best to call your local HVAC contractor to install the UV air cleaner in your air handler or duct system.
Electronic Air Cleaners - Indoor Air Quality and Viruses
Electronic air cleaners work differently than other types of filtering systems. The air and any particulates passing through an electronic air cleaner are given a negative charge with small electrically charged wires. The air then passes over some plates that have a positive charge. Any particulates in the air will automatically be attracted to and stick to the positively charged plates in the electronic air cleaner. An EAC or Electronic Air Cleaner can be very effective at cleaning the air and improving the air quality in your home or business.
The particulates in the air can include the harmful biological matter described above. This includes any matter down to one micron. However, this depends on the frequency of maintenance for the electronic air cleaner. The particulate that sticks to the plates needs to be removed from to time by cleaning the plates. This can be done on the same basis that you change your air filters for your HVAC system but needs to be tailored to make sure the plates do not load up with particulates.
Basic Air Filters and Indoor Air Quality
Many people use basic fiber-type air filters for their HVAC systems. These filters really do nothing for air quality inside your home and are designed only for the basic protection of the HVAC system. These filters catch large particulates such as dust and other large debris that would otherwise be caught in the evaporator coil and plug it up. This is important for the proper function of your HVAC system and to prevent the system from failing to condition the air.
To provide your home with cleaner air, use an electrostatic air filter. These filters catch more particulates and have an electrostatic charge that will catch more particulates. It is important to check the filter on a regular basis. Filters can load up with debris and block airflow. This can be detrimental to your HVAC system simply because the HVAC system requires a specific amount of airflow to operate efficiently and effectively. Air filters come in the following categories:
- A1 and A2 Air Filters - these filters are typically one inch thick and rated as MERV 1 through MERV 4. MERV = Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value
- B Type Air Filters - these air filters are 2 to 4 inches thick and have a MERV rating of 1 to 12.
- C Type Air Filters - these represent HEPA-type air filters and exceed MERV ratings of 13. These are the best types of filtering media for catching many particulates including harmful biological substances. HEPA - High-Efficiency Particulate Air
Humidity Levels and Harmful Biological Substances - Indoor Air Quality and Viruses
As you can see from the chart above the humidity levels can impact the quality of air in your home when it comes to biological matter. To control the humidity levels in your home you need a whole-house humidifier for the heating season. In the summer, your air conditioner will keep the humidity levels optimal especially if you have a high-efficiency air conditioner that offers additional humidity control. Either way, any air conditioner that operates efficiently will help maintain optimal humidity levels in your home for summer operation.
As you can see, there are many things to take into consideration to maintain optimal conditions to prevent viral infections, bacterial infections, and mold issues for the quality of the air you breathe in your home or business. For the best indoor air quality and decreasing your chances of getting illnesses from bad air quality in your home or business always consider:
- Killing viruses, bacteria, and mold by using a UV Air Cleaner
- Catching and Killing harmful biological matter using an Electronic Air Cleaner
- Making sure you have the best type of air filter in your HVAC system
- Maintain proper humidity levels in your home especially in the winter
Conclusion - Indoor Air Quality and Viruses
By doing this you can reduce the chances you and your family will suffer from any type of flu or infection in your home or business. That means you will be healthier and worry-free even. Good Luck!!
Indoor Air Quality and Viruses - Reduce Worry and Enjoy Cleaner Air