How Indoor Air Quality Can Affect Your Health
Did you know that most people spend about 90% of the lives indoors? Did you also know that indoor pollutants are as high as 100x’s of the level outside. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency says that indoor air pollutions is one of the top environmental hazards in the United States.
With viral pandemics in the news on a daily basis taking precautions to reduce exposure have never been more important. Bacteria, viruses, mold and other diseases can spread through your HVAC system. One of the best ways to protect you and your family from these contaminants is by investing in an indoor air quality system.
Common Methods of Virus Transmission
Many viruses are spread through respiratory droplets. These droplets originate when an infected person coughs or sneezes and the resulting droplets become airborne. These contaminants can spread through your air conditioning system, mixing with your home’s air supply, and be spread throughout your home. The HVAC system and ductwork can contribute to spreading unwanted pathogens in the air, not because your system is contaminated as a factory defect, but because the air in your home is contaminated.
There is the possibility to have airborne water droplets small enough that they stay airborne for an extended period. It is also possible that these particles could be sucked into a HVAC system return grille, travel through ductwork, and infect someone else in a different area.
Intermediate Surface Transmission
Here is an example of intermediate surface transmission. An infected person coughs or sneezes and “catches it” in their hands. They can then lave infected droplets on surfaces that they touch like: doorknobs, counters, shopping carts, gas pumps handles, or other frequently shared surfaces. A person not infected then touches those surfaces and rubs their eye, touches their mouth, or scratches their nose. The virus has now been transmitted from one person to another.
An Ounce of Prevention
Recent studies in airborne disease has identified three preventative methods that can control airborne infections. They particulate filtration and ultraviolet light.
HVAC Allergen Control Filters
Air filters can reduce the transmission of infectious airborne viruses. The issue remains unclear is how efficient does the filter have to be to significantly remove infected particles present. There are allergen resistant filters on the market. The more dense the filter material, the more likely it is to remove smaller contaminants.
There are HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters that are 99.7% effective in trapping even the smallest of viral particles.
Ultraviolet disinfection systems for HVAC units are a great addition to conventional filtration. UV disinfection systems can remove microorganisms that are typically small enough to pass through filters. We know that HVAC system filters are designed to capture larger particles. Surface ultraviolet and airstream ultraviolet disinfection systems deactivate pathogens. UV disinfection systems are shown to reduce microbial load and pathogens commonly found in HVAC systems and drain pans.
Surface-cleaning UV-C systems provide 24/7 irradiation of HVAC components to destroy bacteria, viruses, and mold that settle and proliferate on coils, air filters, ducts, and drain pans, preventing the growth of pathogens that can eventually become airborne and get circulated by HVAC systems.
Better Indoor Air Quality Means Everybody Benefits
Implementing an indoor air quality system will greatly benefit those in your family who may be susceptible to airborne contaminants. Children, elderly, immune-compromised, and those with asthma are vulnerable to airborne contaminants. Improving your indoor air quality will greatly improve the life of those in your home.