The past few months have been rough. Not only has this summer been hotter than ever, but threats of the coronavirus have kept many of us at home. While many of us hope that staying away from public places is the best way to prevent the spread of this nasty illness, it also has caused us to question whether our home air conditioning unit is capable of preventing that spread from home. With that in mind, today we'll discuss how you can best prevent the spread of illness (including COVID-19 and the flu) with healthy indoor air from your well-maintained Cary HVAC system.
Is COVID-19 any more contagious than a Cold or the Flu?
For whatever reason, COVID-19 seems to be more contagious than the seasonal flu or the never-ending cold that so many people catch every year. In fact, the particles that make you sick are so tiny that you need a microscope to see them. Unfortunately, unlike a cold or the flu, COVID-19 can invade your body and make you sick without ever knowing that you've been hit. And because the incubation period is so long (up to 14 days), you could be walking around for two weeks before ever displaying symptoms.
As such, if you were to "get sick" the threat of passing it along to any family members or friends that may visit you at home increases if you lack proper indoor air quality management because the virus can get trapped in your home and quickly spread.
Humidity actually helps contain the spread of the virus
Interestingly enough, humidity actually helps contain the spread of the virus. This is great news during the summer as humidity levels inside and outside are high. However, we all know that during the winter months, indoor humidity levels drop and the air in our homes becomes stagnant. As such, each year we see a rise in the number of respiratory illness cases during cold months.
Therefore, one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, colds, and the flu during cooler months is to install a whole-house humidifier. While it may not completely eliminate the threat, a whole-house humidifier can help to control humidity levels, improve air purity, and control air freshness.
1. How do you control humidity?
Since we know that low humidity levels make us more susceptible to catching a cold, flu or COVID-19, then it's important to be able to control the humidity levels within our home. But how? First, you should know what the current level is. Since most of us don't have superhuman abilities that tell us that, we can look at the symptoms.
For example, if you regularly see fogging or condensation accumulating around your windows OR you see moisture or mold on your walls or ceilings, you likely have too much humidity. You'll typically find that your bathroom has higher levels of humidity than the rest of your house.
On the other hand, if your clothes seem to carry a lot of static electricity, your skin feels dry or your paint starts cracking, your humidity level is likely very low. Low isn't always bad, but it does provide the perfect breeding grown for viruses.
Adding a whole-house humidifier to your furnace to have vapor distributed directly into the heated air and circulated throughout the house can prevent the spread of infections and respiratory illness.
2. What about air quality?
In addition to making us sick, the tiny particles found in bacteria and viruses also cause poor indoor air quality. While air purifiers can help, only those with the highest efficiency rating can consistently remove the smallest particles (.3-1.0 microns) found in bacteria and viruses.
3. Can we get rid of that stench while we're at it?
One thing we regularly tell our customers is to look for air leaks. Air leaks are the #1 reason that your home isn't properly heating or cooling. However, when we eliminate air leaks, we also trap air that could contain cold, flu, or coronaviruses. While your Cary HVAC should be pulling fresh air into your home and pushing stale, contaminated air out, it may not be 100% effective. If this is a concern for you, you can also add whole-home ventilation solutions such as an air exchanger to get rid of all those contaminants and make the air in your home smell a little fresher.
If you have concerns about the effectiveness of your Cary HVAC system, feel like you need to add a whole-house humidifier or you just need a check-up from one of our home HVAC consultants, please call Choice HVAC in Cary today.