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HVAC Contractors And Covid 19

We understand that you have worries and questions concerning the COVID-19 virus and how to operate and maintain your HVAC system. We'll present the most accurate and up-to-date information accessible in this post to assist you in making judgments.

The problem is that the COVID-19 situation has progressed so swiftly that scientific investigations to determine whether the virus may (or is likely to) be spread through an HVAC system have not yet been completed.

Much of the existing evidence is based on what is known about other viruses.

Here's a rundown of what we can confidently tell you right now:

Let's start with the good news: there is no solid evidence that COVID-19 was transferred through a ducted HVAC system as of yet.

Direct contact with an infected person and, to a lesser extent, contacting a contaminated surface are the most common ways for the virus to spread.

COVID-19 might theoretically be transmitted through the air, according to experts, because minute droplets of virus particles can stay airborne for hours under certain conditions. Some particles are thought to remain airborne long enough to infiltrate an air distribution system.

Experts, on the other hand, believe that the risk of transmission this manner is low.

There are some mitigating strategies that might help to further limit the risk of the COVID-19 virus infecting your HVAC system, including your heat pump.

It's critical to remember that these strategies must be part of a larger strategy that involves limiting COVID-19 transmission through person-to-person contact and contact with contaminated surfaces.

None of the mitigation strategies are 100% effective. And some of them have severe drawbacks.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we've received, as well as information on the methods Air Check uses to keep everyone safe.

Is it possible for the virus to spread through HVAC ducts?

As previously stated, no definitive scientific conclusion on the likelihood of COVID-19 transfer through air distribution systems has been reached.

However, you may have come across some potential mitigation techniques while reading this article.

Consider the following scenario:

Virus particles are trapped using greater efficiency filters.

Virus particles can be destroyed by using UV light technology or ionization-based air purifiers.

Deactivating airborne particles by increasing humidity levels.

To dilute viral particles, increase ventilation.

Before the start of the season, sanitize the air conditioning components.

We'll go over each of these options in more detail below.

Should we install higher-efficiency filters to stop the virus from spreading?

Small particles (such as viruses) can be captured by high-efficiency HVAC filters and removed from the airflow in your environment.

As a result, some people are considering installing higher-efficiency HVAC filters to lower the danger of COVID-19 transmission.

They can't, however, completely eliminate the risk. The issue is that the COVID-19 virus is so little. Even the greatest efficiency filters may allow some particles to slip through.

It's crucial to think about the operational implications of upgrading your air conditioning system's filters:

Higher efficiency filters are denser and allow less air to pass through. As a result, your system's airflow is reduced, often at the furnace level. If you already had a problem with a system that wasn't working properly, it's possible that your system will struggle even more to chill your space.

Your system will also run for longer as it tries to reach the desired temperature, consuming more energy and causing wear and tear on fans and other components.

Filters with a higher efficiency collect more dust and debris and must be replaced more regularly.

Another potential stumbling block is your system's setup: it must be able to accept the larger size of the higher efficiency filters. Without appropriate installation, the filters will be useless.

Furthermore, the cost of high efficiency filters might be three times or more than the cost of standard filters. "In order for filters to have any impact on infectious disease transmission, transmission must occur through the airborne route, filters must be properly installed and maintained in appropriate systems to treat recirculated air, and filters must be appropriately designed for the building in which they are used," according to the National Air Filtration Association (NAFA).

More importantly, filters may be less effective in most buildings and scenarios than other infection control techniques such as social distancing, isolation of known cases, and hand-washing."

To summarize, if you're considering installing high-efficiency filters, give us a call to discuss your options.

Is the COVID-19 virus killed by UV technology? UV systems kill and deactivate germs, including viruses, that may pass through filters and into HVAC systems using ultraviolet (UV-C) light.

There are a variety of UV disinfection systems available, including upper air and surface-cleaning UV disinfection systems.

"The germicidal wavelength can destroy 90 percent of all microorganisms growing on HVAC air ducts and evaporator coils, depending on wavelength strength and length of exposure," according to ASHRAE (as reported in ACHRnews).

It's crucial to note, however, that while this technology has been proved to destroy other forms of coronaviruses, it has yet to be proven successful against COVID-19.

In the end, you'll have to compare the cost of adding UV goods in your HVAC system against the potential benefit, which isn't guaranteed.

Should we examine additional air purification technology, such as ionizers, for example?

Customers have inquired about installing air cleaning solutions that employ ionized hydrogen peroxide to kill germs in the air passing through a ducted HVAC system. These little units can be installed immediately past the filters in your air distribution system to kill any particles that make it past the filters.

There is some evidence that ionizers can destroy coronavirus particles, so if your system can accept the equipment, it might be worth exploring.

COVID HVAC Strategies: A Guide

Bottom line: Whether you're interested in learning more about ionization technology, give us a call to see if it can help your system.

What effect does humidity and ventilation have on COVID-19?

According to recent studies, boosting indoor humidity levels can aid in the deactivation of the virus.

Humidity levels tend to dip to exceptionally low levels during the winter months, when our spaces are locked up and heated (between 20 and 40 percent). Regrettably, those are the optimum circumstances for the COVID-19 virus to develop and persist for prolonged periods of time.

Adding moisture to the air, according to the study, may damage the virus's outer membrane and make "droplets" less likely to persist in the air. Humidity boosts the ability of our bodies to fight viruses by hydrating our mucous membranes.

However, excessive dampness can harm furnishings and finishes (especially woodwork and fine art).

Humidification technology can help you get the ideal humidity level in your environment. Consult an HVAC professional to determine the ideal temperature for your room.

Increased ventilation (adding extra outside air) is also recommended by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) to dilute any particulates that may be present. If you can't just open a window in Houston, that's not always easy. There are, however, HVAC options that can bring extra fresh air into your home.

In the end, it's a good idea to get your interior air quality checked and to think about humidification and additional ventilation. Air Check can assist you with this.

Should I clean and sanitize my HVAC system?

Prior to starting up their air conditioning systems, some of our customers have requested that we clean and disinfect system components.

We have no way of knowing if any COVID-19 particles survived the lockdown on your system. Cleaning condenser coils (which is usually done during a PM visit) and perhaps your ductwork and other system components has a number of advantages in addition to removing virus particles. Cleaning your system improves efficiency, reduces power consumption, and keeps parts in good working order.

Air Check will offer an HVAC deep clean and sanitization of evaporator coils, ductwork, and other system components where virus particles might be present if you want extra peace of mind (especially if there have been verified incidences of the virus in your space).

When it comes to commercial systems, the best time to undertake this repair is before you bring your staff back to work and put on the air conditioning. However, you must ensure that your space and equipment are accessible.

Keep in mind that sanitizing system components is only a one-time cleaning that offers no long-term protection against future virus exposure.

The benefits of sanitizing your equipment and air distribution system are undeniable. When scheduling your AC preventative maintenance appointment, inquire about a deep clean and sanitization of the evaporator coils and ducts.

When Air Check experts service HVAC and refrigeration equipment, what health and safety practices do they follow?

If you're not feeling well, stay at home. The health and safety of our clients, as well as their coworkers, is a top priority for Air Check technicians. When they are ill, they are advised to stay at home. When quarantining is deemed necessary, Air Check encourages it.

Masks are worn. Every technician at Air Check is given a mask to safeguard both our clients' spaces and our own well-being.

I'm wearing safety glasses. Every Air Check worker is given safety glasses to safeguard both our clients' space and our own.

Gloves are worn. Disposable gloves (and changing them between operations) are a key strategy for reducing viral contact on surfaces. "When cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, wear disposable gloves," the CDC advises. After each washing, gloves should be discarded." Air Check technicians are taught to remove their gloves after each job, dispose of them appropriately, and then wash their hands.

I'm wearing boots. To avoid bringing dirt and debris into our clients' areas, every Air Check professional wears booties.

Disinfecting locations that come into contact with our employees. After finishing their job in your facility, Air Check technicians sanitize any surfaces they come into touch with, including HVAC access and controls.

Filters should be disposed of safely. While COVID-19 is smaller than other filters, it's reasonable to expect some virus particles to attach to the fibers as they pass through. As a result, Air Check workers place used filters in plastic bags and dispose of them outdoors in trash cans. HVAC And Covid

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