Expert Tips from Your Trusted HVAC Technicians
Over the past seven months, most of us have spent a lot more time inside our homes in a bid to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Although there is nothing to suggest that HVAC systems contribute significantly to the spread of COVID-19, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) does believe that maintaining Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and proper ventilation is critical in reducing airborne contaminants, including viruses.
The experts at Comfort Solutions HVAC offer some tips and suggestions for achieving and maintaining better IAQ in your home, which in turn could help reduce the risk of COVID-19 and other diseases.
Top 5 Suggestions for Improving IAQ and Reducing Airborne Contaminants
- Increase Ventilation:
- If possible, open the screened doors or windows and let fresh air in every few days. While it may put a slight strain on your HVAC system, at present, better air quality may have to take precedence over system performance.
- Open the outside air intake of the HVAC system (if yours has one). Consult your HVAC professionals or system manual to learn more.
- Operate the Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) or Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV), if your home has one.
- During the transitionary months when your HVAC system is not operational, maximize natural ventilation by opening windows and doors at opposite sides of the home to encourage cross-ventilation. You can also use fans for increasing the circulation and promoting better natural ventilation.
- Modify the Airflow: Adjusting the airflow settings can have a major impact on the spread, concentration, dilution, or removal of contaminants from in-room sources. If your existing HVAC system features a fixed-speed fan motor, consider upgrading it to a variable speed motor for better control of the airflow. Actual modifications in the airflow settings require experience and expertise and are best left to your trusted HVAC technicians.
- Improve the Filtration: Besides influencing the performance of your HVAC system, filtration systems ensure that the indoor air remains clean, fresh, and healthy. While HVAC air filters offer a wide choice in materials, types, cost, efficiency levels, and health benefits, the US. Department of Energy recommends the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that have a MERV rating between 17 and 20. HEPA filters are an excellent addition to homes where people have chronic allergies or respiratory difficulties as they offer the highest level of protection against airborne particles, including the novel coronavirus.
- Maintain Humidity: Research studies show that humidity plays a critical role in the transmission certain sicknesses in an indoor environment. According to experts, maintaining a Relative Humidity (RH) of 40 to 60 percent could help in reducing the spread and their absorption through the nasal mucous membrane. In fact, dry air could be a significant cause of several other seasonal illnesses, including the Flu. Whether you invest in a HVAC system level humidification, or install an inexpensive in-room humidification option, maintaining greater than 40%RH will help you and your home’s other occupants in better resisting airborne infectious diseases.
- Add UV Lamps: Addition of UV lamps to your HVAC system can help in killing the microbial growth on the cooling coils, and disabling the reproductive capacity of viruses and mold spores. Speak to your HVAC technicians about installing UV lamps in your HVAC system. They will take into consideration the lamp type, wattage, airflow amount and mixing, lamp placement and other factors that influence the capability of UV lamps in improving indoor air quality.
Better indoor air quality not only helps in greater protection against sickness, but it also increases your HVAC system’s energy efficiency and performance. At Comfort Solutions HVAC, we offer cost-effective maintenance and upgrades for your heating and cooling systems in order to improve the air quality in your home. Whether you need routine inspections, HVAC system adjustments, new system installations, or 24X7 emergency repairs, our qualified and experienced technicians provide a comprehensive suite of HVAC solutions and services.
Improve your home’s IAQ through better management of the filtration, humidity, and ventilation aspects of your HVAC system. For best results, count on the experts at Comfort Solutions. Call us at 610-438-9300 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.