According to some researchers, there are two main reasons why we can’t seem to get ahead of COVID-19. The first reason is failure to reach 70% vaccinations (herd immunity).
The second reason is ongoing reluctance to upgrade indoor air quality.
Viruses mutate. This is what they do. This could be why the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant was not entirely unexpected.
But, while we cannot control what the COVID (or any) virus will do next, we can control how much protection we adopt to guard ourselves and our families against being infected.
Indoor air quality is a widely acknowledged key component of virus protection. How clean is your indoor air quality? Is it clean enough? Read on to find out!
Cleaner Indoor Air Starts With Improved Air Filtration
When you think of indoor air quality, you probably think of your HVAC air filter. This is where most people’s minds go, and it is a smart place to start!
HVAC Air Filter
When was the last time you changed your furnace filter or air conditioner filter? Was it within the last 30 days?
When the pandemic first began, many people were scared to touch their air filter for fear of dislodging viral particulates.
CleanAir Solutions Hamilton, our sister company, actually dedicated a full blog post to this topic! Learn eight easy steps to safely handle and change your air filter (on both your furnace and air conditioner units).
Changing your air filter every 30 days is a very important part of maintaining clean indoor air quality and staying safe from COVID-19.
However, unless you have a MERV 17-20 rated HVAC system, just changing your air filter will not offer you adequate protection. For better protection, what you need is HEPA air filtration.
HEPA Air Filtration
HEPA is an acronym that stands for high efficiency particulate air (filtration). HEPA filters date back to World War II, when they were developed to protect scientists from radiation leakage.
The key to understanding why HEPA air filtration matters comes when you understand that HEPA filters, like your standard-issue HVAC air filter, are designed to trap airborne solid, organic matter.
HEPA filters are much denser than the typical HVAC air filter so they can trap much smaller floating particles.
HEPA is still the gold standard for air filtration and is standard issue use in laboratories and COVID-19 hospital wards.
If you have central HVAC, it is easy to integrate HEPA air filtration. Our central HVAC units filter the air of 99.97% of all particulates down to 0.3 microns, or 1/100th the width of a strand of human hair!
While this doesn’t guarantee that all floating particles will be captured, it does drastically reduce free-floating airborne particulates to within a 0.03% range.
The Cleanest And Safest Indoor Air is UV Purified Air
You may have noticed that we started the previous section about air filtration by stating filtration provides “cleaner” indoor air.
Filtration provides one level of protection against solid airborne toxins. But for the highest level of protection, you need to protect against liquid and gaseous airborne toxins too.
The only way to neutralize these types of non-solid toxins is to purify them. And the most powerful purification agent on the planet is ultraviolet light.
Our sun is the world’s best purifier. The sun emits three bands of ultraviolet light – A, B and C. A and B are blocked by the ozone layer surrounding earth. C is the light band that causes sunburn (and the reason our doctors tell us to wear sunscreen!).
Purification works on liquid and gaseous toxins by changing the surface molecular structure to neutralize any threats. For example, when a COVID-19 droplet encounters ultraviolet light, the light beam damages and breaches the thin organic membrane protecting the viral RNA inside the droplet.
Then the ultraviolet light penetrates inside the droplet and damages the RNA so it cannot replicate and make you sick!
If there are any other liquid or gaseous toxins floating through your indoor air and they encounter ultraviolet light, they will be affected similarly and neutralized.
You may remember from our discussion on air filters that HEPA air filtration, the best filtration system on the planet, can trap airborne solids as small as 0.3 microns. But what happens to smaller airborne solids?
Unless you have a UV air purifier, they will stay in your air and could potentially make you sick.
A UV air purifier affects everything the UV light touches – nothing is spared. So even if a very tiny COVID-19 or COVID/Delta droplet passes by the ultraviolet air purifier, it will be neutralized.
For central HVAC, it is easy to add in an ultraviolet purification system to work with your air conditioner and furnace and your existing ductwork.
If you have a ductless air conditioner or a different non-ducted system, a standalone UV air purifier will do the same job.
What If You Can Only Choose a HEPA Air Filter or UV Air Purifier?
The global pandemic has hit many families very hard. While we strongly recommend adding both a HEPA air filtration system and UV air purification, if you can only choose one, we recommend going with ultraviolet air purification.
Here, the key will be ensuring that every molecule of your indoor air is exposed to the UV light before it reaches you. Our highly trained service technicians can ensure your new UV air purifier is installed properly to deliver the best indoor air quality protection.
Contact Shipton’s Heating and Cooling for Expert Air Conditioner Service In Hamilton, Ontario
Our Four Guarantees ensure you will always be highly satisfied with the HVAC service our technicians provide.
Our prompt, polite and experienced HVAC technicians are trained and certified to service all makes and models of HVAC equipment and to install and maintain COVID-recommended air quality equipment.
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