Indoor Air Considerations During COVID-19

June 22, 2021 2:39 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Unless you’ve been living off the grid for the last 15 months, you are probably very familiar with how the COVID-19 virus spreads. It’s an airborne virus, primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets—that is, the droplets that you expel when you talk, laugh, sing, shout, cough and sneeze. While masks and social distancing help, managing your indoor air quality is another layer of virus protection.

Since scientists predict that COVID-19 variants will continue to spread, it’s smart to evaluate your HVAC system and ventilation. The best way to protect yourself against the virus is to get vaccinated, but if you’re unable to do so, improving the indoor air quality in your space will allow you to have indoor guests once again.

Try filtering your indoor air

Many businesses and public buildings are filtering their indoor air now, in an attempt to keep visitors safe. HEPA filters are capable of removing viruses, bacteria and particulate matter from the air. That not only lessens the chance of airborne transmission, but it can help keep dust, pollen and other irritants out of circulation as well.

HVAC systems can be upgraded to use HEPA filters, but most existing systems are not equipped for them. Your best bet is to use standalone or portable units designed to work with HEPA filters—their fans will be powerful enough to push air through the fine filter.

Consider wearing a mask and gloves when changing the filter, and be sure to clean and maintain your systems regularly.

Improve outside air ventilation

The better your ventilation, the less likely you’ll spread COVID-19. The risks of outdoor airborne transmission are practically non-existent. Similarly, opening windows and doors can help bring fresh air inside. Window air conditioning units are another way to bring outside air in, especially when the weather is too hot or too cold to keep the windows open.

If outdoor ventilation is not feasible, reduce the number of people inside, wear masks and maintain appropriate social distance.

Make sure your indoor air flows freely

Good circulation makes it less likely that you’ll inhale the COVID-19 virus. Keep doors to rooms and hallways open, and run both ceiling and desktop fans whenever possible. Try to adjust them so they don’t blow air directly on another person—your goal is to keep the air in the room moving rather than directing it at one area.

Have an HVAC contractor look at your system

Finally, consider having an HVAC contractor look at your system. If you own a commercial or industrial building, you may wish to retrofit it with an air purification system. Many HVAC companies would be happy to give quotes for commercial and industrial buildings as well as homes. If the cost is too much for your budget, invest in some standalone HEPA air filters, but make sure you have your HVAC contractor keep up with routine maintenance throughout the year.

Calaway Heating & Air Conditioning is here to answer all your questions about managing your indoor air quality. Call us today to get started.

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