Coronavirus Prevention: Knowledge is Power

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Part of our job as heating & air specialists is to guard the integrity of the air we breathe while indoors. This has become a topic first and foremost in the world today as we continue to learn new things about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Covenant Heating & Cooling wants to keep you updated with the latest information and help you to be aware of those tactics that may be utilized by some HVAC contractors.

How effective are filters, UV, and other HVAC technologies in controlling the spread of viruses, especially the new coronavirus?

Any air cleaner, including those listed above, has some potential to get rid of airborne viruses, including coronavirus. HOWEVER, the current consensus is that transmission of coronavirus is predominantly large droplet transfer from people coughing or sneezing within a fairly close range of other people — 6 feet is what the CDC is saying. It may also be transmitted by droplets that stay on surfaces touched by those infected. Finally, airborne transmission is a slight possibility if particles are small enough and can stay aloft long enough, it could be collected by the return grille, for example, and be transmitted through the duct system. The possibility of that is thought to be very small.

The most effective things our customers can do to protect themselves and their families are washing hands often, avoid touching your face as often as possible, and social distancing.

What if a local heating & cooling company has told me that I need a UV light or better filters in order to protect myself from the coronavirus?

Combat that recommendation with facts. Coronavirus is not thought to be transmitted through the air, only through large droplet contact. As a consumer, it is your right to be able to confirm facts and to be told the truth. If something seems not quite right, check it out! Either this company is being outright dishonest or they are very misinformed. In either case, you may want to find a new company.

Is there any effectiveness in UV lights for increasing the air quality in my home?

Absolutely! Yes, your home is susceptible to fungus and bacteria. In 1996, an NCBI study installed UV lights on certain floors (and not on others) of an office building for four months to measure and compare the fungal levels of each floor.

  • UV lights reduced fungal contamination within air-handling units.
  • UV lights reduced levels of fungal contamination in the fiberglass insulation.
  • UV lights reduced levels of airborne fungi in the floor space.

In 2012, researchers at Duke University Medical Center used ultraviolet radiation to nearly eliminate drug-resistant bacteria in 50 hospital rooms, reducing the number of bacteria by more than 97 percent. Many factors play a part in the effectiveness of a UV light in your home’s HVAC system, so it needs to be done methodically.

Can a UV light installation be a waste of money?

Yes, so make sure your home conditions are right and installation is completed correctly. It’s important to hire a trusted HVAC technician. These factors can contribute to the effectiveness of UV lighting, according to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association:

  • Intensity and number of UV lamps.
  • Placement and direction of UV lamps.
  • Surrounding temperature and humidity levels of home.
  • Reflectivity of surrounding surfaces.

With the right conditions and proper installation, UV lights are very effective at killing viruses, mold, fungi and bacteria, keeping them out of your home. Covenant Heating & Cooling have a proven track record of UV light installation. Let us come out and talk with you about how it may help your home’s indoor air quality. Call us at 205.319.7202 or email Dewayne at dewayne@covenanthvacal.com

Resources:

https://www.lincolntech.edu/news/skilled-trades/hvac/separating-fact-from-myth-on-hvac-uv-light-benefits
https://www.achrnews.com/articles/142840-ashrae-presidential-member-and-professor-discusses-coronavirus-and-hvac