How Important Is Air Quality in Your Vancouver WA Home?
One of the bigger issues with the continued spread of COVID-19 is that it can spread via droplets laced with the virus when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes. People are contagious before symptoms appear, so even just entering enclosed places, like a restaurant, church, or family member’s home, is risky. Even in a well-ventilated space, droplets and microdroplets can stay airborne and infect other people.
Consider the fact that people spend the majority of their time indoors—up to 90 percent of their lives. Pollutant levels can be up to 100 times as high as the air quality levels found outside. Nature has its own air systems that blow out stagnant air and cycle fresh air. According to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF):
Currently, indoor air pollution is ranked by the EPA as one of the top five environmental risks to public health.
Some common indoor air pollutants that threaten indoor air quality include: lead, dust mites, mold, radon, pests, carbon monoxide, pet dander, mold, and second hand [sic] smoke.
Needless to say, the air quality in your Vancouver, WA, home matters a great deal.
How Important Is Clean Air?
How do you stop the spread of disease and keep the air quality in your Vancouver, WA, home or business as fresh and clean as it can be? Vancouver, WA, air quality is often good, but COVID-19 is a whole other issue because the infectious contagions can still be breathed in by those surrounding an infected person. Another highly contagious virus that spreads by mucous and remains airborne for a couple of hours is measles. The number of measles cases in 2018 was estimated to be around 9,769,400. Clean indoor air is imperative to our health.
To have good air circulation and improve your air quality in Vancouver, perhaps it’s time to review how your HVAC system works and what it can do to stop the spread of disease.
If you don’t take precautions, measles, COVID-19—really, any pathogen—can be redistributed throughout a space by its HVAC system. It can even cycle through the air ducts. A good way of addressing this concern about Vancouver, WA, air quality inside homes and buildings is to use air-purifying technology. You can use a shortwave ultraviolet light, or UV-C, to clean the air as it cycles through the system. There are even UV-C lights that can be attached to a central part of the room.
How These Contaminants Can Affect Your Health
While Covid-19 is on everyone’s mind, expert HVAC professionals know it’s not the only thing threatening your home or indoor air quality. There are myriad other viruses, diseases, pollutants, and germs in our homes. We must consider day-to-day germs and pollutants because we’re at a higher risk of being exposed to them. A key way of being able to take charge of the indoor air quality is to know how to maintain your HVAC system and have a general knowledge about air quality and what affects it.
There are a few groups that need especially good indoor air quality. These include infants to teenagers, adults over the age of 60, and pet owners with domestic animals like cats, dogs, birds, or other pets with dander. Plus, there’s another group of at-risk people, who, regardless of age, include immune-compromised individuals, people with pre-existing respiratory issues, pregnant women, and anyone who may be recovering from illnesses or surgeries.
Scientists know that the main way COVID-19 spreads is through airborne respiratory droplets. It’s important to cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow (so not as to transmit it by touch). But residual contaminants can still exist in the air. When they cycle into the HVAC system, there’s a real possibility of others getting sick. The initial symptoms are quite similar to any other cold or flu, including a sore throat and cough, that, without action, can continue spreading from person to person.
Finding the Source of Other Contaminants
The first step to solving a problem like viruses, dust, odors, or mold is to find the source of the problem. There are better-rated filters, ultraviolet sanitizing systems, and electronic air cleaners. Through some of these fixes, you can reduce the impact of contaminants and improve the air quality of your home. But it’s still even better to find the source of the problem. Is there a water leak somewhere? Is there debris or a pollutant in a duct? HVAC systems might even have a fungi or bacteria buildup, so check all potential sources so the issue can be addressed in a timely fashion so you can protect yours and your loved ones’ health.
Remember, the HVAC system is there to help purify the air in the indoor space. It doesn’t come from the factory with the capacity to make the air dirty. Dirty air that circulates (or doesn’t) throughout the house or building can be due to a handful of factors. They include whether there are smokers or pets, or if the home is in a dry or dusty and windy area. Mold growth in the house or HVAC system will contribute to poor air quality. So will a filter that needs replacing.
If you have any doubts about your HVAC system and indoor air quality after changing the filter, clearing the ducts, or doing other maintenance, don’t hesitate to ask the experts at Entek. Our technicians can ensure your system is running efficiently and cleaning the inside air to improve the overall air quality. During this unprecedented pandemic, our respiratory and overall health cannot be taken for granted. Make sure you’re breathing in the cleanest indoor air you can.