March 20, 2020
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in both humans and animals. There are currently seven strains of human coronaviruses that have been identified. Four of these strains are common and found in Wisconsin and elsewhere around the world. These common human coronaviruses typically cause a mild to moderate respiratory illness. Sometimes, new coronaviruses emerge.
In 2019, a new strain of human coronavirus emerged, COVID-19. Illnesses associated with this virus were first reported in December 2019.
The main way COVID-19 is spread to others is when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This is similar to how influenza is spread. The virus is found in droplets from the throat and nose. When someone coughs or sneezes, other people near them can breathe in those droplets. The virus can also spread when someone touches an object with the virus on it. If that person touches their mouth, face, or eyes the virus can make them sick.
One of the big questions surrounding coronavirus is how significant of a role airborne transmission plays in its spread. Currently, the general consensus is that it’s predominately spread through large droplet transfer – meaning droplets are too large to remain airborne for long. In other words, transmission is primarily happening through coughing and sneezing within a fairly close range of other people.
However, that doesn’t mean that your HVAC system can’t play a role in prevention. In fact, it can have a significant impact on keeping you healthy, so that your immune system is prepared if and when it is exposed to the virus. The following steps can help fight illness and improve your air quality.
Replace Air Filters
Air filters are a first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, pollen and other particulates that can circulate in your ductwork and indoor air. During cold and flu season, it’s always a good idea to replace your system’s filters at least once a month.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Your HVAC system should ideally be cleaned and serviced twice a year to ensure it’s working optimally. Filters, belts, condenser and evaporator coils and other parts should be tested and cleaned. With good maintenance, dust, pollen and other airborne particles can be removed from your system to prevent air quality issues.
Clean Air Ducts
Like your air conditioner furnace or heat pump, your ventilation system also needs regular maintenance. Ductwork should be cleaned and serviced to remove dust, mold and microorganisms that can collect there.
Partner with HVAC Professionals
Your indoor air quality isn’t something to take casually now – or really any time of the year. Poor quality air can have a big impact on the health of both those with chronic conditions, as well as healthy individuals. A qualified HVAC contractor is the best choice for analyzing your system, ensuring its working effectively and keeping air quality at optimal levels.