What we know about COVID-19 and HVAC Systems

Whether you’re considered an essential service and still working, working from home, freaking out, or trying to survive while "homeschooling" the kids; we think it's sufficient to assume that the novel coronavirus (aka COVID-19) has completely rocked the world as we formally knew it.

Now that we're all home-bound until further notice, chances are that you're starting to evaluate various parts of your living quarters in ways that you may not have in the past. Time to tackle that list of home projects that you said you'd do when you had more time. Time to deep clean the areas of your home that have needed to be cleaned and you just needed a "long weekend" to get to it. And, time to listen to all the creeks and pops that you usually ignore.

As such, all this time is allowing your mind to wander. For example, "if COVID-19 is airborne, does that mean it could be stuck in my HVAC?" If your mind is starting to play tricks on you and you want to know if the coronavirus and your HVAC system are playing together, then today's your day. Today we'll discuss what we know about COVID-19 and how it relates to your HVAC system.

First, let's talk about what know of COVID-19.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the coronavirus is spread from person to person; specifically, people that are within 6 feet of one another OR through respiratory droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs. We also know that the virus can be contagious up to 14 days before an infected person displays symptoms, but is most contagious when a person displays signs of having the disease.

That said, COVID-19 is still a new disease, and there's a lot more that we don't know than we do know. It's actively being tested and researchers are working diligently to create a vaccine. Until then, our healthcare system is doing their very best to respond to the highest risk situations, while the rest of us have been ordered to stay at home. We are definitely not experts when it comes to infectious disease, but we trust the experts that this is the best way to control the spread of the virus.

So, how does COVID-19 relate to your HVAC and indoor air quality?

Even before the coronavirus jumped into our laps, the EPA found that people typically spend around 90% of their day indoors.  Unfortunately, that means the concentrations of some pollutants are up to 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels. While this could easily be a public service announcement for getting outside and enjoying some fresh air while exercising, we also recognize that it's allergy season.

Therefore, let's talk about the impact of indoor air quality (also known as IAQ) on how healthy we are as a population (since so much of how the coronavirus is affecting us relates to the health of the individual).

  1. Understand that your HVAC system does not produce or create mold or viruses. HVAC systems are designed to heat and cool your home; and as long as it is properly installed and well maintained, it should be able to do what it is designed to do with ease for roughly 10-15 years.
  2. Any contaminants that find their way into your HVAC system (including mold, pollen or viruses) were brought into your home by YOU. We have yet to see a heating and cooling system that came from the factory with these predisposed into the system.
  3. However, under the right circumstances (paired with the wrong contaminants), your HVAC could become a breeding ground for biological growth to form.

What's the Best Way to Improve IAQ?

The absolute best way to improve indoor air quality is to regularly change your air filters. Period. If you don't change your air filters regularly (every 30-90 days), the dirt and dust that YOU bring into your home can separate from the air filter, become airborne and find it's way back into various parts of your home causing more dust and causing you to sneeze at a minimum.

With all of that said, we are confident that your HVAC system is not spreading the coronavirus. However, your HVAC system can help control how healthy the air supply is within your home which does contribute to your overall health, and your ability to fight COVID-19 should you become infected.

So, if you're having any sort of indoor air quality issues, be sure to callCHOICE Heating & Air Conditioning  today to schedule a maintenance check. Let us inspect and evaluate it today so you can breathe easier while in quarantine! Stay healthy!


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