Shipton's CleanAir Solutions Blog
Can Humidity Stop COVID-19?
It feels like it was only yesterday when the news first leaked out about the new novel coronavirus back in January.
This certainly wasn't the way any of us expected to kick off the new year for a whole new decade, but here we are, several months later, about to enter yet another Canadian winter, in partial lockdown and feeling the strain of the year nearly past.
We know more than we did about how COVID-19 transmits and spreads. We have learned the ropes of how quarantine works. We have watched several holidays come and go and adapted and adjusted for everyone's safety.
Here comes the big finale now. We have the winter holidays, winter itself, cold and dry weather and cold and flu season all wrapped up with an uncomfortably festive bow.
Is there anything we can do to stay healthier, safer, stronger? As a matter of fact, there is! Read on to learn about humidity's role in fighting COVID-19. Our CleanAir Solution experts have the right info at the right time to keep you healthy this winter!
What Is the Right Level of Indoor Air Humidity to Fight COVID-19?
For years, we have heard that it is best to keep the humidity level inside our homes and workplaces between 30 and 50 percent. We have even written about these recommendations on this blog in the past, but then the new novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was discovered.
Now, the humidity recommendations have changed.
For increased resistance against COVID-19, you want to keep your indoor humidity between 40 and 60 percent.
The data we just shared with you comes from a 2013 Harvard Medical School research study that linked lower humidity levels to a higher incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) - basically, how well viral matter transmits in places where infections spread more easily.
So, we've known about the link between viral transmission and humidity for quite some years now. We just didn't need to apply it outside healthcare facility settings until now.
To summarize, when your indoor air humidity falls below 40 percent, your risk for contracting COVID-19 through aerosol airborne droplets that may be present in your indoor air supply rises. Not sure how to maintain a specific level of humidity in your home? Contact our air purity specialists at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton!
Why Is Indoor Air Humidity More Important in Winter?
Remember, winter is called "cold and flu season" in part because the use of heating equipment causes the air inside your home to dry out - often to a significant degree.
While most people have no trouble keeping their home's indoor humidity at 30 percent or higher during the warm season, in the cold season humidity can readily plunge to 10 percent, or even lower.
With drier outside air and drier inside air, humidity often all but disappears indoors.
This ,in turn, dries up the beneficial mucus in your airways - mucus that would otherwise catch and quarantine microbes and viral matter before it can get into your lungs.
To get your body producing that protective virus-trapping mucus again, you need to add back moisture to your air.
How Can You Increase Indoor Air Humidity to Reduce COVID-19 Risk?
Now, the next logical question is how to effectively manage the amount of humidity you have in your indoor space. Our air quality specialists at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton have the knowledge and expertise needed to help you maintain the ideal home temperature and humidity for your safety this winter.
There are two steps needed to achieve this goal.
1. Measure the amount of humidity in your indoor air.
The first step is simply finding out how much humidity you have in your air right now!
To do this, you need a simple and inexpensive humidity reader called a "hygrometer." These are easy to find online or in local home goods stores or garden centres.
A hygrometer measures the amount of moisture in the nearby air.
You will need to take it from room to room in order to identify areas where humidity may be higher or lower. Most homes have these zones because some rooms encourage higher ambient humidity (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room).
The areas that you should be most concerned about include common use areas where the air might naturally remain drier.
Still note sure how to test the air quality in your home? Contact CleanAir Solutions and one of our technicians will walk you through the process.
2. Decide on your indoor air humidity strategy.
There are two basic ways to go about adding back humidity to your indoor air.
The first way is to go room by room, adding portable humidifiers only in the areas where humidity is consistently lacking.
However, this strategy can backfire as areas with higher humidity, like the bathroom or laundry room, dry out in between uses.
The second way is to install a whole-home humidifier that automatically adds humidity back into the air for your entire space. At CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, we supply the highest quality whole-home humidifiers for your convenience and safety throughout the dry months of winter.
A lot can go into deciding which strategy works best for you, including your room use patterns, the size of each room, whether a loved one is immune-compromised, if your home has a basement, how often you are home and much more.
This is why Clean Air Solutions in Hamilton offers our customers a complimentary consultation and no-obligation estimate for any humidifier needs you may have.
Other Easy Ways to Add Back Humidity Back Into Your Indoor Air
We understand that 2020 has been a difficult year financially for many of us. If this describes you and you are feeling panicked about how to boost indoor air humidity without investing in extra equipment or appliances, these suggestions can help.
- Place bowls of water near radiators or any heat source.
- Steam a pot of water on the stove with the lid off.
- Open windows on humid or rainy days.
- After showering, open the door to let the steam out into the rest of your home.
- After bathing, let the bath water stay in and cool naturally and open the door.
- Add houseplants and keep them well watered (but not over-watered).
- Inhale over warm steaming water for direct humidity.
Get in Touch With Hamilton's Expert Indoor Air Specialists at CleanAir Solutions
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we have implemented safe, contactless service, invoicing and payment options and we remain open to serve all your indoor air quality needs.