Covid-19, Influenza, and other viral respiratory illnesses can spread from one person to another via airborne pathogens.  People who are infected may expel pathogenic material into the air by coughing sneezing, sneezing, talking or even just by breathing.  Controlling the spread of infection is absolutely critical during a pandemic and highly desirable at all times.  Evidence-based HVAC strategies to help lower the risk of infection were published by The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and recommended by The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

HVAC systems can play a role in controlling the movement of infectious pathogenic material, helping to dilute the small infected droplets, to conduct them out of your rooms, and to eliminate them through filtration; thus, helping prevent the spread of airborne illness within your home. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, ASHRAE and the EPA recommend the following HVAC operations to help decrease exposures to airborne pathogens and increase health and well-being at home:

Open outdoor air dampers in your air handler to allow the flow of fresh air into your home

Install Higher MERV Filters: Improve air filtration to MERV-13, if possible.  HVAC filters have a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) that indicate the smallest particles the filter can remove.  Filters that trap smaller particles have higher MERV ratings.  High MERV ratings can lead to pressure drop, which can potentially reduce airflow and diminish the system’s ability to maintain humidity and temperature set points.  Our technicians are experienced and educated in the appropriate MERV filter ratings for residential HVAC systems. 

The system can only remove particles when the fan is running.

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), also called ultraviolet germicidal energy, is a technology using light as a disinfectant. The entire UV spectrum can kill or inactivate microorganisms, but UVC energy provides the most germicidal effect. Most contemporary UVGI lamps produce UVC energy that damages the nucleic acids and proteins of pathogens, making them inactive and unable to transmit infection. UVGI units are most effective in residential ducts or air handling units.

The ideal. Relative humidity for preventing aerosol transmission of respiratory viruses is between 40% and 60%, according to The Annual Review of Virology publication. Ambient humidity below 40% lowers immune system defense. Large infectious particles can shrink in dry air to become droplet nuclei, which are dormant but still infectious and can travel long distances. Many viruses are most viable in low humidity.

Programming your home HVAC system with a smart technology thermostat allows you to control, view, and correct your infection-mitigating strategies for ideal indoor air quality.

To ensure you have the ideal Indoor Air Quality system installed in your home, call us today! Our goal is to improve your health and well-being at home by providing innovative and exceptional indoor air quality products.