COVID 19 coronavirus is all that we are hearing about lately. It is all anyone can talk about, it is everywhere you look on the news, online, etc.
Many people have been affected by it first hand. Schools are closing, people are working from home, all sporting events are canceled or postponed. Everyone is staying in their homes now more than ever, scared to leave.
There are many precautions you can take to help prevent the spread of the virus. You should be washing your hands (for 20 seconds or more), covering your mouths with your upper arm when coughing or sneezing, disinfecting surfaces regularly touched, avoiding large gatherings and just keeping to yourselves for the time being.
You may think you are safe inside the comfort of your home, but what if the air inside is worse than it is outside? That is what your HVAC system is there for.
Functions of a HVAC System
- Load matching: putting the right amount of heat or cool into your home, all the time.
- Filtration: cleaning the air inside your home
- Dehumidification: removing the moisture from your home
- Fresh air: keeping the air in your home healthy by bringing in outside air
- Mixing: moving the right amount of heat or cool to the necessary rooms in your home
- Humidification: adding moisture to your home when needed
All the functions play a key role in maintaining the health and comfort of your home
What can my HVAC system do to protect me from COVID-19?
We spend 90-percent of our time indoors, possibly more now under the circumstances. You want to make sure you are breathing in unpolluted, fresh air. There are a few things that your HVAC system can do to help reduce viral spread of bacteria and viruses.
The first is by tightly controlling relative humidity levels. You want these levels to be between 30-50 percent. If the outdoor temperature is below 40 degrees fahrenheit, it is recommended staying between the levels of 30-40 percent.
When humidity levels remain too high, it’ll result in excessive moisture being trapped in your home’s structure which will breed mold growth and expensive moisture damage.
When humidity levels fall too low, it weakens our body’s immunity to bacteria, viruses, and allergens. Breathing in dry air thins out the protective layer of mucus in our nasal passages, throat, and lungs. Without this protective fluid, it’s easier for our airways to become swollen, irritated, and infected.
If the temperature is warmer outside, it is suggested to have humidity levels between 40 and 50 percent for the same reasons. Humidity control is the most important function when it comes to HVAC and the spreading of viruses. You can run a dehumidifier in moist areas such as basements and crawl spaces. Remember, moisture can be trapped in places that you can’t see. On the other hand, you can use a humidifier if you need to add moisture to the dry air.
Note: if using a humidifier, use distilled water to prevent putting other harmful substances into the air.
If you’re a Maryland homeowner concerned about the quality of your home’s air, Minnick’s can work with you to find and fix all your hidden cracks, holes, and other sources of energy loss.
Did you know we breathe 3000 gallons of air a day and As mentioned, we spend more than 90% of our time indoors? That means most of the air we are breathing in gets filtered through your HVAC system’s air filters before you have the chance to breathe in what you think is fresh air.
This is why regularly changing your home’s air filters is one of the best practical steps you can take to protect your family from harmful airborne particles and bacteria.
Filters are rated on a scale of 1-16, which represents how effectively your filter can trap small particles. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter will be in trapping smaller airborne particles. While a higher MERV rating means higher performance, Minnick’s highly recommends confirming with a professional if your home’s HVAC system can handle the higher rated filters prior to installing.
It’s recommended to install a MERV 13 rated air or furnace filter in your home for optimal protection. MERV 13 filters can capture airborne viruses and bacteria from coughs and sneezes. While there’s no guarantee a strong air filter will one-hundred percent protect you from the coronavirus, clean air will help keep your immune system strong.
Most importantly, be sure to change your filters regularly because clean filters create cleaner air.
At Minnick’s, we offer whole-home air purification systems to create a healthy indoor environment for you and your family. Not sure if your home’s indoor air quality is protecting or harming your family? Contact us online or call us at (301) 327-3038 and we’ll be more than happy to help you out with any questions you may have about your home’s indoor air quality and filters.
Minnick’s is an industry leader in providing Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, Insulation, Indoor Air Quality, and Whole Home Energy solutions to Montgomery County, Howard County, Prince Georges County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City