How does COVID-19 Spread?

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, spreads through respiratory droplets and aerosols created when a person who is infected does any of the following:

  • breathes
  • talks
  • sings
  • shouts
  • coughs
  • sneezes

Significantly, the droplets vary in size from large droplets that fall to the ground rapidly near the person who is infected, to smaller droplets, sometimes called aerosols, which may linger in the air under some circumstances. Aerosols laden with infectious virus increase the risk of spreading COVID-19, particularly if a person stays within an enclosed indoor space with little air circulation for a long time. Thus, indoor air quality may play a role in COVID-19 transmission and other health conditions by affecting the concentration of pollutants, as well as viral and bacterial particles suspended in the air.

Why is Ventilation Important to Stop COVID-19?

As a result of how COVID-19 is spread, proper ventilation in your home can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as a properly configured ventilation system will regularly exchange indoor air a number of times per hour. Bathroom and Kitchen Exhaust Fans can also help remove potentially contaminated air if they exhaust outside. Basically, this exchange helps dilute the number of COVID-19 particles in the air, which reduces the chances of transmission.

What Are Some Other Areas to Improve?

  • Air Filtration

Additionally, filter quality and cleanliness is one of the easiest things you can look at to increase the quality of the air in your home. Some options for increasing the air quality in your home are:

  1. Changing or cleaning your filters regularly
  2. Selecting a filter with a higher MERV rating as they are more efficient at removing particles from the air
  3. Ensuring your filter cabinet is installed correctly

  • Humidity

While a humidifier won’t remove the COVID-19 virus from the air, it can have an impact on how long the virus particles remain suspended in the air. Lower humidity levels can cause droplets to shrink and thus remain in the air longer, but higher humidity levels can cause condensation on surfaces and lead to mould growth. On the positive side, there are multiple options for getting a humidifier in your home, each with their own pros and cons. For more information on Humifidiers, please go here.

What Now?

Under those circumstances, if you have concerns about the air quality in your home, a site visit with one of our licensed HVAC Technicians can help determine if your HVAC System:

  • is suitable for the:

    • type of setting
    • type of activity
    • number of occupants
    • length of time the space is occupied

  • is operating properly
  • can be adjusted to increase air exchange rates if needed
  • is using filters of the highest Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating the system can sustain
  • could benefit from a Humidifier or HRV

Call us today to schedule your site visit!

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