Recently, the a form of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, has been flooding the media and for good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been over 134,000 people have contracted the coronavirus COVID-19 and 4,970 deaths are reported world wide. In this blog post, we will be discussing how you can protect yourself and what it means for your HVAC system. Keep reading to learn more!
What is the Coronavirus?
Starting off, it’s important to understand what the Coronavirus is. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first detected in China and has now been detected in more than 100 locations around the world, including the United States.
On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared this outbreak to be a “public health emergency of international concern” which you can learn more about onsite.
The Coronavirus is a virus that can exist between humans and animals. The animals that have been correctly diagnosed include camels, cattle, cats, and bats. However, the primary animals that have been linked are bats, due to the virus having its origins in bats. While the virus may have started in China, recently there have been cases in the United States. These cases are believed to be the result of imported cases from international travels (not just those who have visited China), people who have come in close contact with a known case, and community-acquired cases where the source of the infection is unknown. Recently, Italy has come out with outbreaking cases and has also limited travel access.
Viruses are roughly 100 times smaller than bacteria, and typically range from 0.004 to 0.1 microns in size. This means even the most powerful air filters would struggle to purge a virus from the air. COVID-19 belongs to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses. The 2013 SARS epidemic was also caused by a coronavirus, which was 0.1 microns in size. According to Dr. Mariea Snell, Assistant Director of the Online Doctor of Nursing Program at Maryville University, the size of COVID-19 is approximately 0.125 microns
The complete clinical background is still being discovered, but what we do know is that reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe symptoms that include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms have been shown to appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure. It’s also been seen to impact people who are older or already ill, specifically those who have underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. However, there are still ongoing investigations and this is an evolving situation. For more updates, the CDC can be used as a resource.
How Does This Impact My HVAC System?
Our HVAC systems regulate the air we breathe within our homes, offices, and building spaces. Since the Coronavirus can be considered to be an airborne illness, it’s important that you’re aware of how your system is being affected, and what it means for the spread of the virus. Even though a good HVAC system cannot cure or prevent you from getting the virus (especially if you’re in contact with someone who is sick), it can be used as a good cautionary measure.
Changing your air filters and making sure that your HVAC system is up to date cannot protect against the virus, but it can help.You should always be aware of how often you change your air filters — most recommend that you change the filter about every 4-6 months. While breathing in cleaner air can certainly impact your overall health in a positive way, it may also decrease your chances of contracting any airborne illness.
Working in any type of contained space can increase a person’s chances of contracting any type of airborne illness. This can range from a common cold to more serious diseases, which is why it’s extremely important to exercise proper hygiene practices. Washing your hands and sanitizing your work space or other spaces of high traffic like office bathrooms, kitchens, and meeting rooms.
Taking all and any precautionary measures to protect yourself against the Coronavirus is beneficial. For more information regarding your HVAC system and how to properly upkeep that, Comfort First Products are here for you. Our HVAC products help to improve your indoor air quality and overall health. They’re easy to use, affordable, and easy to maintain. Our Comfort First Filtered Diffuser comes with a MERV 14 Filter that can be upgraded to a MERV 14 Filter. All of our Control-A-Flows can fit a approximately MERV 8 filter with an antimicrobial coating. Call our office for questions – 714-550-4971. Connect with our specialist for more information.