The coronavirus outbreak is having profound effects on our lives in a variety of ways. As we spend more time indoors, we are exposed to pollutants and irritants encountered in indoor environments. A major concern is that the levels of indoor pollution are usually 2-5 times higher than outdoor levels.

Many studies have linked poor indoor air quality to higher rates of illnesses and mortality. Studies show that particulate matter or PM could play a role in the transmission of the Covid-19 virus.

There is evidence that the virus can become suspended in the air and spread throughout your home. Many experts believe that good indoor air quality is important to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Here are some tips to improve your indoor air quality (IAQ).

Inspect and Replace HVAC Filters Regularly

HVAC filters are designed to trap common pollutants such as dander, dust, dirt, and pollen. Over time, filters get clogged and are unable to trap contaminants. Dirty/clogged filters will allow dust, dirt, and other contaminants that should be filtered out to be recirculated back into your home.

Dirty filters are the number one reason for HVAC failure. Dirty filters can restrict airflow to the air handler, placing additional strain on the fan motor. If you do not move swiftly to address the problem, your motor could burn out, causing your system to fail. To prevent this from happening, replace your filters every 90 days. If you have pets, senior citizens, or kids at home, replace your filters more frequently (every 30 days).

To prevent this from happening, replace your filters every 90 days. If you have pets, senior citizens, or kids at home, replace your filters more frequently (every 30 days).

Though traditional air filters are effective, they do not remove all the particles from the air. Many air filters miss particulate matter. Consider replacing conventional filters with HEPA filters that are designed to trap 99.97 percent of dust, pollen, and smoke particles.

Clean Your Ducts Regularly

The air in your home makes its way through the central air duct system. Fine debris circulating in your air can accumulate in your ductwork. An HVAC with unclean ductwork will circulate impure and stale air.

Exposure to impure air can worsen asthma symptoms. Long term exposure to particulate pollution can result in serious health issues such as decreased lung function and respiratory problems.

Cleaning your ducts at regular intervals is one of the most effective ways to improve indoor air quality. A good rule of thumb is to schedule an air duct cleaning every 3-5 years. You may want to clean your ducts more frequently to prevent dust build-up.

Have Your HVAC Maintained Regularly

Have your HVAC inspected and maintained at least once every year (preferably before winter or summer) by an air conditioning repair expert in Sonoma County. Do not skip maintenance, even if you do not notice any signs of malfunction. Some signs can go undetected for weeks or even months.

During a maintenance session, your contractor will check and lubricate different system components. They will clean or replace the filters and check furnace ducts for blockages. A well-maintained HVAC will operate efficiently, have an increased functional lifespan, and need less frequent repairs.

Improve Ventilation

Good ventilation can prevent the risk of airborne spread of the novel coronavirus. Make sure your ventilation system is designed to remove contaminants, odors, and allow fresh air to enter. Use exhaust fans to remove cooking fumes.

Open doors and windows regularly to let fresh air in. Dry your clothes outside in a covered area. To ventilate rooms, leave them ajar overnight. This will also help maintain the proper moisture levels and reduce the risk of mold growth. Use an air purifier designed to remove particulate matter and chemicals from indoor environments.

Install a trickle ventilator in your kitchen. A trickle ventilator comes with a filter that purifies the outside air when it passes through the ventilator.

Consider a Whole Home Humidifiert

Excess moisture in your home is a recipe for disaster. Moisture can provide the perfect breeding ground for allergens such as mold and dust mites. These and other contaminants can contribute to health issues, especially for people who have breathing problems or a seasonal allergy.

A whole-home humidifier allows you to control humidity levels in your home through your thermostat. It is designed to pull excessive moisture from the air with every cycle. If you notice signs of basement moisture, opt for a portable humidifier that can be placed in confined spaces.

Use Air-purifying Plants

In addition to increasing the aesthetic appeal of your home, air purifying plants remove toxins from the air and provide fresh oxygen. Some popular air purifying plants used in homes around the world are English Ivy, Bamboo Palm, Mass Cane/Corn Plant, and Gerbera Daisy.

Use Green Cleaning Products

Steer clear of toxic cleaning products. When buying cleaning products, look for labels such as non-toxic organic, plant-based, biodegradable, clean paraben-free, preservative-free or hypoallergenic. A green cleaning product usually at least has one or two of these listed.

If you cannot find a green cleaning product, make one at home. To make your own multipurpose cleaning spray, mix equal parts vinegar water. If you are allergic to vinegar or its smell isn’t appealing to you, add a few drops of lemon juice (the acid in lemon juice cuts through grease).

Clean your Clothes and Sheets Regularly

People with dust mite allergy can experience signs of asthma such as wheezing and difficulty breathing when exposed to dust mites. Dust mites settle on clothes, bedding, and cushion. Launder these items regularly in low allergenic washing soap.

If your duct system is not designed properly for your system and space, the conditioned air won’t reach where it is needed. In most cases, the ductwork should be changed when installing a new system. Make sure the duct size matches the output capacity of your unit.

Is your HVAC circulating stale and impure air? John Owens Services can help. We are a team of seasoned professionals. No matter how complex your problem, we will have a solution.  To get answers to your HVAC questions, call 707-200-3339.

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