By now, we’re all well aware of COVID-19 and its risks to our health. We know that the virus is spread by contaminated respiratory droplets, which are easily spread on high-touch surfaces. We have been told to wash our hands and not touch our faces or mouths. But how can we avoid the spread of illness when it travels through the very air that we breathe?
Your HVAC and COVID-19
Airborne transmission of the virus through HVAC systems is possible, but relatively unlikely. It should be noted that the virus itself is not airborne by nature: the concern lies with the aerosolized droplets from a carrier that can linger in the air.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) that HVAC systems’ ventilation and filtration capabilities can actually reduce the concentration of COVID-bearing moisture particles, subsequently lessening the risk of transmission.
Granted, transmission via HVAC systems is relatively low risk anyway. ASHRAE concluded that residential HVAC systems have a limited impact when it comes to the spread of illnesses. However, there are ways of mitigating even the lowest levels of potential for airborne spread.
How It Works
COVID-19 isn’t the only illness that your HVAC system has to contend with. The same concerns are present for seasonal colds and flu, mold, and bacteria growth, impacting your indoor air quality.
If you’re concerned about the transmission of pathogens within your home, especially COVID-related, the issue is not with the system, but with the air itself. Your HVAC system circulates air that’s already within the house, so if it is contaminated, you need to be able to introduce new airflow.
As your HVAC system moves air throughout your home, it simultaneously filters and cleans the air. Unfortunately, running your HVAC system is not enough to reduce the risk of circulating potentially compromised air. However, guidelines issued by the CDC can help lower your risk of infection.
So what can you do at home to protect yourself and your family from the spread of disease?
Here are some suggestions from the US Environmental Protection Agency that can reduce the risk of circulating virus-affected particles. These apply especially to those living in apartments and other shared residential units.
-When possible, open doors and windows to the outside to increase the flow of air
-Use an air conditioning unit that draws air from the outside to minimize circulation from inside
-Open the outside air intake on your HVAC system if applicable. If you live in Southern California, call the techs at Rowland Air, and we’ll tell you more about how to do this.
-Run your bathroom fan as often as possible.
Portable filtration units can also work alongside your HVAC system to increase quality of air filtration.
Beyond what you can do at home, there’s plenty available when you need it. For top-notch service in Ventura County, Antelope Valley, and the San Fernando Valley, Rowland Air is always available to answer your questions and set your mind at ease. Call today to learn more about how we can help you breathe a little easier.