Barring unforeseen setbacks, the country seems to be emerging from behind the cloud that is the COVID-19 pandemic. As this happens, we face the challenge of making homes and workplaces in Lubbock, TX as safe as possible. However, before we start to feel too good it’s important to remember the warnings from infectious disease experts: This won’t be the last time the world faces a deadly pandemic. It may not happen again for decades, or it could happen a year or two from now. That’s why Armstrong Plumbing, Air and Electric wants to have this conversation about indoor air quality or IAQ.
The Conversation is Important
Recent research produced some startling results. It found that improving indoor air quality could be as beneficial as vaccinating half the population when it comes to reducing aerosol transmission of COVID-19 and other similar viruses. For many years IAQ has focused almost exclusively on particulates, carbon dioxide, and volatile organic compounds. The pandemic has broadened the focus to include factors that affect viral survivability including:
Droplets and aerosols are two words we’ve come to know all too well in the last year. They are largely responsible for how COVID-19 is spread. Droplets usually come from coughing, sneezing, or even talking and singing. Aerosols which are smaller particles and can be compared to a mist.
The longer a virus survives increases the likelihood it will spread. One of the best ways to reduce viral survivability is with correct humidity levels of 40 to 45 percent. When the air is very dry, more than 70% of the viral particles can cause infections. When the humidity is raised the number drops to about 18%.
A Three-Pronged Attack
Putting all the information together, Armstrong recommends a three-pronged attack as the best approach to virus control in Lubbock, TX by improving indoor air quality:
By this we mean upgrading from the standard 1-inch HVAC filters. Some choices include:
- 4-Inch media filters which trap much smaller particles in the air.
- Activated carbon filters that can chemically neutralize many elements.
- Advanced HEPA filtration when used with compatible heating & cooling systems.
These do more than trap particulates. Ultraviolet light and ion generating systems are also capable of killing COVID-19, other viruses and bacteria.
As indicated earlier, a whole-house humidifier is the best way to keep the air from getting too dry. This will limit the spread of viruses by shortening the length of time they can survive in the air and on surfaces.
Always Ready to Help
Whatever questions you have about keeping your family safe by improving indoor air quality, Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric is here to help. There are no guarantees when it comes to protecting you and your family from COVID-19 or other viruses but having an IAQ plan can improve the odds. Call to schedule your no-obligation appointment. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more great information.