We are a handful of weeks into the pandemic lockdown at this point. While we still don’t know nearly enough about when this might end, we know a lot more about how to reduce risk than we did a few weeks ago.
Maintaining social distance – two meter minimum between you and anyone else – is key.
Sanitizing is another vital element of lessening risk.
So is staying healthy and keeping your immune system as strong as possible.
And finding ways to stay positive and connected is also vitally important.
Like so many businesses here in Ontario, we are working remotely right now. Which is why we thought now would be the perfect time to share these tips for how to set up your home as a healthy haven to support your family’s safety.
1. Know what, when and how to sanitize
Even with the current stay-at-home order still in effect, sometimes it may be necessary to go out or to bring outside items into your home.
When this occurs, it is so important to know what to do to protect yourself.
Canada Health recommends taking these precautionary steps:
- Use soap and warm water (heat destroys coronavirus), rubbing hands briskly together for at least 15 seconds.
- Alternately, use a sanitizing agent (gel, liquid, wipe) with at least 70 percent alcohol content, rubbing briskly for at least 15 seconds.
- You can also make your own water and bleach solution to use for disinfecting shared surfaces and grocery items.
This helpful video from a medical doctor explains how to deal with groceries and takeout to ensure they are safe to handle and consume.
2. Warmth and humidity can potentially protect against COVID-19
Here in Ontario, it is still quite chilly outside – winter is definitely lingering as it sometimes likes to do.
You may have read or heard that cold temperatures and dry air can make it harder to fight off coronavirus. This is thought to be true for the same reason that winter is nicknamed “cold and flu season” – many strains of cold and flu are also coronaviruses.
While it is important for physical and mental health to get outside, breathe fresh air, get sunshine and be in nature, when you are in your home, try to aim for a higher humidity level and warmer temperatures.
Heat can destroy coronavirus relatively quickly. Humidity helps your respiratory passages fight off coronavirus more effectively.
In winter here in Canada, we run our furnaces a lot. This can push humidity levels down to 10 percent or lower. You definitely want to keep running your furnace and keep your home nice and warm.
But you also need to add back humidity right now to protect yourself from coronavirus. Aim for 50 percent humidity to help your body produce plenty of protective mucus to trap and quarantine virus particles.
Here are some easy, free ways to increase the humidity inside your home.
- Open the door after you take a hot bath or shower and let the steam dissipate naturally.
- Place a pot of water on the stove to boil (add some cloves or cinnamon to fill your home with a wonderful scent!).
- Put a bowl of water on your radiator or just place bowls of water throughout your space to evaporate naturally.
- Keep your houseplants well-watered (but not so well-watered they start to mould).
- Breathe over a pot of steaming water to get more humidity directly into your nasal passages and lungs – just take care not to get too close and burn yourself.
- Add a portable humidifier to bedrooms and heavily used areas of your home.
- Don’t run the dry cycle on your dishwasher – open the door and let the steam out into your home and let the dishes dry naturally.
If you would like to add a humidifier to increase humidity throughout your home, right now our sister company, Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, is offering $50 off the cost of installing a whole-home system.
3. Keep your air filters and furnace filters squeaky clean
You are relying on your air filters and furnace filters to help protect you and keep you healthy. While most furnace filters are not dense enough to trap coronavirus particles, they can certainly trap other toxins that could put stress on your immune system.
You can change or clean and replace your furnace filter and any other air filters every week or as needed during this time of social quarantine.
HEPA filters can trap coronavirus particles to a great degree. While officials are not sure they are capable of trapping the tiniest particles, HEPA filters can trap micro-particles as small as 1/100th the size of a single human hair.
If you have a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner or your furnace, you want to pay special attention to making sure you clean the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Never clean a HEPA filter with water unless the manufacturer specifically recommends this! This is also a good time to check to see if it is time to replace your HEPA filter.
4. Rest, eat healthy and manage stress
Be sure to get plenty of sleep right now, since sleep is when your body repairs itself and your immune system can do its best work.
Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water to flush out toxins.
Make sure to add fun and laughter into your day to ease stress. Watch funny movies, play with your pet, and use the internet and FaceTime to stay connected with loved ones virtually.
Get in Touch
Heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical and ventilation have been deemed essential services for Ontario.
If you need us, we are keeping normal business hours while working remotely. Our 24/7 emergency repair service also remains available for urgent needs.