Coronavirus Prevention: Can Your Home HVAC Air Filter Help?
The recent Coronavirus outbreak across the world has caused major concern and there have been repetitive updates and warnings from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and from the White House related to public health in the United States.
California has often witnessed preventive preparations like stocking up on indispensable resources in the face of storm warnings, and so the people have some experience in prepping for a possible calamity. But, the question on many people’s mind is whether residential HVAC air filters can keep Coronavirus away.
The current post will discuss the Coronavirus outbreak along with the capacity of air filters to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. It will also explain whether home HVAC systems can stand up to an upcoming pandemic situation along with additional tips to improve air quality. This is important throughout the year but especially during the cold and flu season.
Understanding the Coronavirus
Many people, in the recent past, have been referring to Coronavirus as a mere ‘flu’ or a ‘cold’ to assure others that there is no reason for panic. This is not completely false either. According to WebMD, many of us have, at least a couple of times in life, suffered through common coronaviruses such as throat infections and those that cause sinus issues.
The current outbreak of a novel coronavirus, named as COVID-19 or the Wuhan Virus, was discovered in December of 2019 but the Chinese probably knew about this situation long before that. There have been similar and yet more dangerous forms of coronavirus outbreaks before, like the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Global efforts are ongoing, to find a treatment and cure for COVID-19 but it may take a while (though it’s been reported on Fox Business that plasma treatments work – you take plasma from someone who has recovered and put it in someone who’s infected and it works – it’s worked 10 out of 10 times – this treatment plan originated out of China). It is too early to know much right now but washing your hands frequently, staying away from people who are unwell and staying home yourself if you do not feel alright, are some of the CDC’s recommendations that we can all follow at this stage.
The Role of Air Purifiers in Health Protection
Air purifiers basically do what the name says. They take air in and circulate purified air out. These are very popular in homes for their ability to combat allergies and remove unwanted odors. Air filters are highly successful in eliminating large particulates like pet dander, mold and pollen from the air; but they come with certain limitations too.
Standard HEPA filters catch 99% of the unhealthy particles in indoor air. This is enough for good residential air quality and to keep family members healthy. But viruses like COVID-19 and certain others are smaller than bacteria and hence, difficult to eliminate completely.
Capacity of Residential Air Purifiers to Filter Out Coronaviruses
It is believed that Coronavirus is an airborne disease. As such, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has released certain resources that can give some details about dealing with the current outbreak. These include guidelines for indoor air quality, healthcare establishments, residential facilities and others. Certain hospitals have already begun to take extra measures for the protection of patients, but we need to ensure that our homes have clean air too.
Some consumer grade products, especially HEPA filters, have been subjected to testing against COVID-19 by air filter manufacturers. The results have been quite good so far. It’s critical to note, that while HEPA filters may be able to trap the virus, it will not be destroyed completely. The virus will stay alive and reside inside the filter as long as it can survive. Unfortunately, in some cases, this can be for nine days even.
If you wish to be extra careful, you can make use of industrial air purifiers which do a better job of cleaning the air. These could be more effective in stopping the spread of illnesses such as those caused by coronaviruses, but they are also quite costly. Weigh all the long-term advantages of purchasing one to see if it is worth the price, before making the big investment.
Air Purifiers in California
Improving indoor air quality is important for your family’s health, whether during the flu season or to deal with allergies. While gauging your options, keep in mind factors like the size of your house and the presence of pets.
You can approach Sandium Heating and Air-Conditioning experts to guide you in making the right choice for your family and their comfort.
NorCal and Bay Area homes have made use of our expert recommendations for many years. We understand the worries and concerns you have due to the current coronavirus outbreak, and we are here to address them. Contact us today!