You Asked & We Answer: Questions About Indoor Air Quality and COVID-19
Indoor air quality has been an essential service right from the start of our quarantine process, due to the new novel coronavirus.
As more researchers begin to contribute research data concerning the link between indoor air quality and coronavirus cases, Clean Air Solutions is learning new valuable information to pass along to our customers every single day.
Many of you have been contacting us by phone or email to ask about hot topics like air duct cleaning, indoor air ventilation, humidifiers, ultraviolet air purifiers and HEPA filters.
In this post, we answer the top questions we have been receiving about using these types of indoor air quality aids to prevent COVID-19.
Can Indoor Air Ventilation Systems Put You At Risk Of Catching Coronavirus?
On this topic, there is still new research coming in on a daily basis, however, the most compelling data we have comes not from this current outbreak, but from back in 2003 when the original SARS virus (SARS-CoV-1) outbreak occurred.
Researchers at the University of Toronto claim that wind (air flow from ventilation) is a critical factor in increasing what they call propagation, or the number of people the virus can reach.
Can Poor Air Quality and Air Pollution Make You Sicker Quicker?
We can credit the same research study for understanding the link between prior exposure to poor air quality and air pollution (whether outdoor or indoor) and vulnerability to COVID-19.
Research in 2003 only focused on people who had prior exposure to polluted air and the likelihood that they would contract coronavirus.
The data showed that people who had been breathing polluted air were more likely to catch SARS and get sicker when they did.
What Roles Do Heat and Humidity Play in Coronavirus Risk?
Many of our Clean Air Solutions customers call us with questions because they have been reading news or research papers on their own and have discovered information that causes worry.
We understand completely and are here to help!
One of the least well understood pieces of data right now is the link (if any) between the risk of coronavirus and the heat and/or humidity that comes with summer.
It’s important to note that the answer to this question can vary based on whether we are looking at heat versus humidity.
Is temperature (heat) linked to COVID-19 risk?
In the matter of whether increased temperature can reduce the risk of COVID-19, the latest data says “no.”
In an article published just last month in Science Daily, Canadian researchers studied 144 geographic areas around the world to look for links between temperature and latitude and the spread of COVID-19.
They didn’t find any.
This is particularly important to know if your summer plans include switching off your air conditioner to try to protect yourself from the new novel coronavirus. It won’t help and could actually harm you in other ways by increasing the risk of mould and mildew.
In fact, as we struggle with an unexpected heat wave here in Ontario, you may have even noticed that certain public facilities with air conditioning such as libraries and recreation centres have been reopened to help Ontarians cope with the heat.
Is humidity linked to COVID-19 risk?
In the same Canadian study, researchers did discover a slight link between increased humidity and decreased coronavirus transmission or spread.
So, increasing the humidity inside your home may, to some degree, give you more protection against coronavirus.
This is mostly because humidity keeps your respiratory passages moist in order to promote beneficial mucous that can trap coronavirus droplets and keep them from moving into your lungs.
This is the same reason why doctors often tell people with respiratory issues (ie. asthma, allergies etc.) to add more humidity to their indoor air in winter – it helps protect against cold and flu season, as well as seasonal allergies.
Will This Heat Wave Make Coronavirus Go Away?
Speaking of heat waves, there has been intense public debate among frontline healthcare workers and researchers about whether summer will reduce the risk of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, the most recent data indicates that the answer to this question is “no.”
In fact, the extreme heat may create health issues that conflict with the order to wear masks when out in public. Experts say wearing a mask can make it more difficult for you to breathe.
Wearing masks in the heat can also increase sweat and dampness, which decreases the mask’s ability to filter the air you breathe in or out.
The guidance is now to wear masks when you are indoors but to remove them when you are walking about or exercising out of doors. This is especially vital for children and the elderly, as well as for any person who has any type of respiratory or breathing condition.
Can Ultraviolet Light Or a HEPA Filter Destroy Coronavirus?
Another question we get asked on a daily basis is about the connection between ultraviolet light or HEPA filtration and coronavirus.
Both UV light and HEPA filters are standard today in hospitals and laboratories, but can they actually keep you from getting COVID-19?
UV Light and Coronavirus
If someone sneezes right on you or you touch a surface that contains active coronavirus particles, UV light or HEPA filters won’t actually help; however, if someone sneezes into the air and that air first passes through an ultraviolet light purifier, the UV light can potentially protect anyone who encounters those droplets.
HEPA Filters and Coronavirus
HEPA filters can’t protect you so directly, but when lighter airborne droplets latch on to solid particles like dust or ash, and then those particles pass through a HEPA filter, they will likely get trapped and won’t be able to reach you.
Get in Touch
We are open to serve you safely with contact-less options during this difficult time.
For our customers who want to schedule an indoor air duct cleaning, we are currently offering a 10 percent discount across the board for any of our three packages!
With this package, our technician will clean, deodorize and sanitize your air ducts of all contamination.
With this package, our technician will provide everything in the Bronze Package plus cleaning the A/C coil and fan compartment.
With this package, our technician will provide everything in the Bronze and Silver Packages plus a 21-point furnace inspection and maintenance.
As an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic, Clean Air Solutions Hamilton remains open to serve our customers safely during this difficult time. We always ensure the safety of both technicians and our customers by practicing all safety precautions and contact-less processes. Our team is ready to provide you with the heating and cooling system(s) you need in Kingston, London, Hamilton, Burlington and the surrounding areas!
Give us a call at 1-905-549-2470 or visit us online.